“God is my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore, and throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.” Psalm 32:7 The Message
One morning a little over a year after my husband died, it hit me that he was really never ever coming back again and my first thought was, “What am I going to do now?” The realization that I was going to be living alone for the rest of my life was frightening. All kinds of thoughts and “what if’s” went through my mind.
I had been told in my Widow’s Walk Grief/Growth Support Group that in time I would need to find a new identity and that time has finally arrived. I find that I am even more introspective than I was as I wait to see who I am now that I am no longer a wife. What is my purpose for the rest of my time here on this earth?
Every night when I go to bed, I put a book on CD into my CD player that I keep right beside me on my bed. Last night the story was talking about lei making and how that the more complicated the lei is the more beautiful the finished product.
A lei has a spiritual meaning and is a tangible representation of aloha in which symbols of that love are carefully sewn or woven together to create a gift. This gift tells the story of the relationship between the giver and the receiver. A lei can be made of many things – flowers, seeds, shells, berries, vines, and leaves and each piece tells the story of the person to whom it is being given.
I began to think about my life’s lei and what it looks like. There is no doubt that it is a very complicated and intricately woven one for I have experienced some great losses in my life. So according to lei making, my lei would be very beautiful.
God is the one who is in the process of stringing my lei. There will be lots of delicate flowers showing how deeply I feel things and how tender my heart is. There will be shells symbolizing those hard times in my life. Bright colored berries will be strung in my lei representing the brighter, happier times that I enjoyed. Vines will be intertwined in my lei symbolizing my grief journey that wound around and around. The green leaves will show all the areas of growth that took place in my life.
Right now I cannot see any beauty in my life, but I am doing my best to trust that someday when God walks up to me and puts that lei around my neck, it is going to be the most beautiful one that I have ever seen. As I stand there face to face with Him His words will be, “Aloha, Candy! I love you! Well done! You did it!” My response will be awe, my words will be full of hosannas and praise and everything I have been through in this world will seem like nothing in His presence. It will be worth it all.
God, help me through this grief journey. I realize that my husband is never coming back. Help me to discover who I am and to find my new identity. Help me not to be afraid of the future. Ease my loneliness. Help the lei of my life to be one that is very beautiful – a garland full of hosannas.