A deep gash: The grief ‘scratch’ that doesn’t go away
By RICK ALVEY, Reid Health Chaplain
Once upon a time a great king owned a beautiful diamond. But there was a problem. The diamond had a flaw - a scratch in the middle. It could never be given, worn, or admired.
So the king sent word throughout his vast kingdom that great riches, position, and prestige would come to any individual who could take away the flaw. Well, they came, the best of jewelers and artists, even magicians - not just from that kingdom, but from across the mountains and the seas. But alas - no one could remove the scratch. The king despaired.
Then one day a young man arrived, somewhat optimistic about his chances for doing what no one else had been able to do. Oh, he heard the doubters and the scoffers. But he asked for a quiet place to work where he would not be disturbed.
Every day the king asked, "Well?" And the determined young man would answer, "Not yet."
Days passed. Weeks passed. Then one afternoon the young man handed the diamond to the king. Slowly a smile spread across the king's face, and then a great "Yes!" rang out through the palace. Everyone crowded in for a closer look.
The scratch was still there! But the young man had carved a rose around it, using the scratch for a stem.
~ Adapted from Anne Brener, Mourning and Mitzvah
The loss of your loved one has left a deep gash in your soul. Your life feels like that diamond with a scratch deep within that no one can remove. It's a heartache that lingers just below the surface, ready to spill out at a moment's notice and express itself with tears or anger or despair.
Nothing can take that heartache away just as a scratch in the middle of a diamond cannot be removed. But the effects of that heartache can be transformed when we engage our grief and work through it. The transformation will not happen overnight or quickly or even easily; but being positively reshaped by our grief journey is very possible.
Openly acknowledge the reality of the death of your loved one. Unpack the feelings of the pain of the loss. Nurture a new self-identity and explore your purpose in life now that they are no longer sharing the journey. The choice to move through grief and positively transform its effects is a choice that we must make daily; even multiple times a day. Keep choosing to move forward!