Thursday, July 9 2020 - 2:46 AM
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Coming to Terms with Death

Five days ago, I awoke to the sound of my phone rattling against my nightstand as a barrage of calls and text messages came in. After looking at my phone, I jump out of bed, put a sweater on over my pajamas, and ran to the apartment below mine where my cousin lives. He answered the door after I knocked and said with a tear-stained face, “I’m sorry for waking you.” I pulled him close to my chest and said, “Let it out.” I held firm as his sobs crashed into me like waves against a sea wall.  I prayed simply, “Lord. Please.”

Today we laid my uncle to rest. After years of struggling with heart disease and despite his attempts to take care of his health to offset his illness, his heart just couldn’t give anymore, and on the morning of his 54th birthday, he died, surrounded by loved ones. His death came as a surprise to many of us who knew and loved him. He was so young. But at the same time we knew that he tended to overextend himself due to his commitment to his work, his family, and friends. His heart that was so ill, gave so much. It has been such a comfort to hear how his life has touched so many people through his generosity.

But now the services are over, family members and friends are traveling back to their homes, and it’s almost time for everything to return back to normal. And we all silently acknowledge that nothing will ever be normal.

“Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.” I’ve repeated these words to myself over and over again for the past few days. They are from Oscar Wilde’s heart wrenching book, “Di Profundis,” but today these words belong to me. Almost three years ago, my grandmother passed away, and in the time since I have learned so much about sorrow. I have learned that, for me, sorrow manifests itself as tension that takes up quiet, yet powerful residence in the muscles of my upper back. I’ve learned that I can release that tension with deep breaths, in-2-3-4 and out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. I’ve learned to welcome sorrow because it is the price of the honor of having been raised by a village of parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who love me beyond belief. I’ve learned that, at least on this side of eternity, sorrow will eventually be the price of love. I’ve learned to cling to the God who conquered death and sorrow and who knows exactly what it means to pay the price of love.

In-2-3-4.

“Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.”

Out-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelations 21:4 NIV)

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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