Saturday, May 26, 2012

How Do You Walk Away from a Mountain of Grief?

Dear brothers & sisters,

We are in the mountains of grief, mountains that fit the size of the one we mourn; Greg was larger than life. 

It's so cold, it's dark and we can see no way out. We scream at God for allowing us here; we scream and we scream. Towering trees of guilt, pain, and anger seem to surround us and block any heat from nearing us. We are lost and don't know how to find light, how to find home, we aren't sure what it can possibly look like any more. We are confused and curl up in tears, in silence, feeling the hell wind blow around us. Shadows haunt, fear of the future grips us. 

How do you ever move away from the mountains? There seems no way out, they are all consuming.  How do you know when you've walked away from a mountain?

You open your eyes and see the face of your sister, your brother, and realize you aren't the only one here. For a split moment you panic that they are here too, you don't want them to be, but you realize you were meant to be here together. You grasp hands and the pain splits through your arms into your gut, leaving  you breathless. You start to move together. It is slow, it is terrifying, and it's nothing  short of body gripping suffering. One screams for the Sun, and one is silent. One step at a time and our feet crashes into the cold river of guilt and we are swept up, we can't breathe and we are drowning in it, this is when someone reaches in and gathers us in His arms and carries us. 

We keep moving. In the earliest break of day, when we are stuck between sleep and wakefulness the weight of our circumstance crushes down. We question how day and night can still come & go, the possibility of a world outside of the mountains exists and functions. 

We are picked up again by sister friends, brother friends and we slowly move. Moments we get lost, and end up deeper in the trees, where it feels like ice. 

Time passes and somehow a shred of sun peaks through the leaves, we are given a glimpse of light. We remember how Greg did all things with passion and drive, and we push our steps forward.  The split second of comfort of community, of family, and the rejoicing in a life well lived makes us continue. Somehow through the swirling wind we can hear the laughter of a child, a child Greg would have knelt down to speak with and something pushes us. It's all we needed, a small piece of Hope. 

Our legs ache and the journey seems like it's getting larger, looming, instead of getting closer to where we can see the ball of fire clearly again. 

Then One whispers, I am your encourager, I am your provider, I am here. Fixate on me, don't look at the mountains around you, I will carry you out. 

How do you know when you have ever really left the mountains? They will always be there, they will have changed who we are, but I'm hoping someday they will be further away. Well still feel their shadows, but when we feel the sun shine down again, it will feel somehow fill us in a different way. 

Greg you were so loved, you are mourned and your life we will learn from.

How is a life of greatness written?

A book of everything, black & white, clear, evident, and in bold.

It starts with a momma with a child on her lap, storybook in hand, to shape the mind, and a daddy to exemplify hard work, not just merely talk about it.

It is formed by the love of siblings, not just brothers and sisters, but best friends, and cousins

family meals

playing catch

watching movies.

It's recognized in dusty boots after a branding and an old red hat, punctuated with a shiny blue truck and country music.

It is nurtured by gravel roads, big skies and love of a farm.

It changes people by being solid, dependable & full of passion.

When you see a life like this, you want to be better. Not just in times like this when you reflect, but in the moments spent with eyes listening to only you in a crowd, with that big grin.

Evidence of priorities of community and family are so strong & the strength of these actions start to shape your own heart. The nephew on his back, the quiet will to dig in and help in any circumstance and willingness to show up and be there makes you study your own ways.

Greatness that follows a passion in all things, academics, business, agriculture, family, and sport start to make you want to be greater.

Community is the rubbing of shoulders, helping form one another's lives. It's the hand reaching out when you need it, it's caring about the children who are growing up, it is investing in those around you. Greg epitomized community, he loved his family, he loved his friends and he humbly was in the middle of things--helping write our own lives, helping us to be greater.

And so we grieve together and trust that

"God is our protection and source of strength.
    He is always ready to help us in times of trouble.

So we are not afraid when the earth quakes
    and the mountains fall into the sea.

We are not afraid when the seas become rough and dark
    and the mountains tremble.

There is a river whose streams bring happiness to God’s city,
    to the holy city of God Most High.

God is in that city, so it will never be destroyed.
    He is there to help even before sunrise.

The LORD All-Powerful is with us.
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD All-Powerful is with us.
    The God of Jacob is our place of safety."


Cowboy mom said...

I'm grateful for a Loving God, who Lives and cares. May he bless you and be with you through all things.

LeAnna said...

“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

Shirley said...

I don't know who Greg was, but by this post I know that he was loved, by many. May God rest his soul, and give you solace.

basebell6 said...

Greg sounds like a very special man. Not sure if he's a friend / uncle / brother / cousin, but I can tell you will miss him terribly. I'm so sorry for your loss and send my prayers.

anne said...

thot's of love n sympathy to you..may you feel those "Everlasting Arms"...Mike n Anne Barkman

fernvalley01 said...

Beautiful tribute to someone who was clearly much loved and will be missed. So sorry for your loss

NaomiG said...

I'm so sorry. Praying for comfort for you, and the peace that passes understanding.

Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) said...


I am crying right along with you now. I am so sorry for your loss and I will be praying for y'all in this time of grief!

Grandma K said...

many hugs and prayers to you...... and to those walking this path.

Cartoon Characters said...

Sorry to hear about Greg, and what a powerful post...Hugs to you..

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Chey! Greg touched a lot of people in his life and will never be forgotten! Lenore

Mary Ann said...

So sorry for your great loss. Hugs from Ohio!

Crystal said...

Oh wow, sorry for the loss and Greg sounds like he was an amazing person and will be greatly missed.

Airplane said...

Thinking of you and praying for you and your loved ones.

The Hatch's said...

beautiful words. lifting up prayers. talk to you soon.

Rachel said...

Wow! I pray that all those mourning him have comfort in the One.

Karen said...

What a beautifully written, powerful post. Would love to know more about this remarkable man, Greg...

Petie said...

So sorry for your loss. Hugs...

Down On The Farm said...

Oh my. Prayers going out to you and all whose lives were touched by this man. Obviously he meant so much to so many.

Jaimi_C said...

Sorry for your loss. I'm sending prayers your way.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Oh Cheyenne, the heartaches just keep rolling through--tearing, stabbing, ripping. My arms reach for you in the darkness.

Gumbo Lily said...

"Even there They hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me." ~Psalm 139:10 He is with you. My prayers are with you, Cheyenne.


Elizabeth Martin said...

Cheyenne, I'm soo sorry for your loss. Sending prayers your way!

Allison said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Warm hugs and friendship.

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Dearest Cheyenne,
Praying that HE WILL CARRY YOU!!!

Sending thoughts, prayers and love~~


HIsaac said...

...and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Auntie Cake said...

Beautifully written. Praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

Angie Berry said...

Oh girl, I am so very sorry. Sounds like Greg was a remarkable person. How fortunate you were to have him in your life, what a legacy! Beautiful words from your heart and soul Cheyenne.

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Very passionate post of love and loss. Praying you find peace and comfort.

Anna said...

I'm late to the game but I know that your pain for the loss of Greg is not gone. Prayers for you and all who knew him.

Joannie B. said...

you might not get this because it is an older post, but i had to say i am sorry and thank you. i lost a dear one this summer and have not yet left the mountains. i feel like a rag doll...being tossed around. your words helped ....your sharing the depths of your grief helped........blessings to you and all those who feel the loss. joannie @ joanniedoors

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