Robin Gudal: Loss is different with each one

Published 8:00 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

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EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

My mom passed away almost two years ago. She had been ill for years with early on-set Alzheimer’s. She was nonverbal mostly the last few years and bedridden. Because of COVID I had not seen her in-person for 11 months. We were on the way to her private nursing home in the Cities when we were informed that she passed.

Robin Gudal

Later that same day, after we arrived home, I closed the window shade on the main entrance door to our home. This door window allows light into my kitchen. My action was almost without thought. Then I remembered the tradition of mourning years ago: to hang a black banner.

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When I was a little girl, a younger woman that lived in my best friend’s neighborhood lost her husband and they hung a black banner on the door to signify her loss. Queen Victoria wore black for the remainder of her life after the death of Prince Albert.

The banner declared the household was in a period of grieving. I somewhat wonder if it also was a warning: Be gentle, I may not be myself, please be patient, know I need time and I don’t even know what that looks like. 

If my window shade were a banner that’s what mine would signify. I didn’t feel like myself for a period of time. I had many thoughts needing to be processed. A life once lived and now the absence of that life. 

Loss is different with each one we experience and with each person experiencing it.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30, NIV

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I am fascinated by Bible verses on tears. They bring much healing and comfort. 

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” — Washington Irving

“…weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5, NIV

“…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” — Ecclesiastes 3:4, NIV

“There was no need to be ashamed of tears. For tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”  — Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl

“We flicker on a screen, we fold and unfold, upon the minds eye. Brittle as wings, eternal as a heartbeat. And even when the hearts fail silent, we do not cease to be, because in the end we all become memories.”  — “Call The Midwife”

Blessed be the memory of my mother, Janel Kay Beckman.

Robin (Beckman) Gudal is intentional in life, a wife, momma, nana, friend, and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.