Friday, September 20, 2019

The sound of grief

I’ve also seen grief from afar, like the time in medical school when I was transporting blood samples in the emergency room and heard a sound so startling that I almost dropped the tubes.

It was a wail, more animal-like than human, so piercing and primal that it took me a minute to find its source.

Out in the hallway was a mother whose three-year-old had drowned after running out the back door and falling in the swimming pool during the two minutes in which the mother had gone upstairs with her infant to change his diaper.

As I listened to the wail, I saw her husband arrive and receive the news, heard his shock erupting into shrieks as if in chorus with his wife’s roar-moan.

It was my first time hearing this particular music of sorrow and anguish, but I have heard it countless times since.
She later describes hearing this sound again:
“We talked about Gabe,” he says quietly. And then he starts crying, a guttural wail, raw and wild, and I recognize it instantly. It's the sound I heard in the ER back in medical school from the parents of the drowned toddler. It's a love song to his beloved son.
Source: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

There are those who have no hope. Death is the end. It is final. They have no hope of ever seeing their loved one again.
I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

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