Carri and I used to be in the same small group (years ago), and she’s been writing poetry even longer (since she was twelve)! I hope some day she will publish a book of her poems, but in the meantime, she’s letting me share this evocative poem about grief with you.
Title: “Closed Doors”
Author: Carri Casserino
Grief came and sat next to me a time ago,
The death was hurtful and unexpected.
I sought God’s face in the midst of my pain,
And He looked at me, “Seek my way,” he said.So, I stumble around seeking answers,
And what I see are open doors.
Why? Is it not finished?, What are the reasons?
Will there ever be peace, hope and not war?As time moves along, I find I can close one door,
And then another, as I find an end to the thing
I do for you, my loved one, my heart.
Each closed door is progress to my grief vanishing.
So, as I find ways to say good-bye, I can close a door,
And this closing puts away my pain.
Surely there is peace somewhere, there is purpose,
As I look to God’s face for the end to my heart’s rain.“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).
(Carri allowed me to use the photo of herself and the radiant sunset. The rest are pictures I took last spring at Clos Luce Manor [french home of Leonardo da Vinci in his latter years] in the Loire River Valley of France.)
Alan and I have now have 6 close friends on our daily prayer list who are grieving the loss of their lifetime mate. That’s about 6 times as many as we knew 6 years ago, and prospects for the future are not looking up. This morning I had the rather dubious honor of signing up for Medicare…proof positive that I’m reaching the esteemed age of senior citizen, which (at least in our country) isn’t cause for anything more cheery than black frosting. However, there have been a few bright spots lately as we muse our way through our sixties, and one has been the gently humorous romantic drama just released this year under the title Heaven is Waiting. It’s actually the (fictitious) story of “Ned,” a 43-year-old who has been grieving the loss of his wife for 3 years but still isn’t ready to move on… although his daughter is more than ready for him to move on so that he’ll let her grow up! In the movie, Ned’s deceased wife, Kate, talks to him and gives him good advice, which some viewers find offensive, but I don’t! Ned isn’t “conjuring” her up; she just appears. In fact, most of the people I’ve known closely who’ve lost their mates do find themselves talking to their beloved MIA partners every now and then…you know…just to run ideas by them. If we talk to ourselves, why can’t we talk to a loved one who’s not present? Is that any different from asking yourself, “What would Father think?” (or whoever you used to go to for advice when you were little)? Of course, ultimately, the best advice comes from asking our Father, who art already in heaven waiting for us. He’s the only One who knows when and how to lead us past grief ruling paramount into living freely in the present again. But, that takes a long time, no matter how young or old.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV)