She died almost a year ago.
My friend, Tat. Beautiful, vibrant, bright-eyed Tat. She was twenty years old when the car crashed into hers, killing her instantly. I still hate that I have to talk about her in the past tense.
On August 17, it will somehow be one whole year since she was last breathing in this world. It’s hard to comprehend she is gone, let alone that it’s been almost a year. The earth has orbited once again around the sun — and she was not here for any of it.
I thought I’d have more answers by now.
I thought after a year passed, the grief wouldn’t sting quite so sharply.
I haven’t written about Tat’s death at (in)courage yet because for some reason it felt to me that as soon as I told you, her death would be that much more real.
And yet, here we are.
My dear (in)courage friends . . . my beautiful friend, Tat, died in a car accident almost a year ago, and I couldn’t tell you until now. My heart is still broken. My grief is still here. I am wondering if perhaps grief doesn’t ever go away. Perhaps grief is our companion for the rest of our lives, always reminding us of the people we love. That, in some sense, feels comforting to me.
There are days I can still trick myself into seeing her — the back of her wild hair walking down the street or her old car with its duct-taped corner on the road. My eyes have played tricks and I’ve seen her and I gasp, hoping to catch a glimpse of her face, to see her smile, just one last time.
But in a blink, the reality of a world without her crashes down around me. And I remember the truth like a bucket of cold water on my face.
I wish I could give you some piece of wisdom about wading through the depths of grief. I don’t have a lot of wisdom yet, but I do know this: in the midst of your grief, Jesus is with you.
This year, I have seen God’s kindness in ways I couldn’t fathom. He did not remove my pain, but He has been present in every moment of it.
He holds Tat and He holds me. He is a God who knows sorrow — even this. Even yours.
I used to think of comfort as God taking my pain and anxiety away. But I don’t know if that’s what comfort is. I don’t know if comfort is the absence of pain.
I think comfort is the presence of God.
In Latin, comfort is confortare, which means “to strengthen much.” God is near to the brokenhearted. He comes close. And He strengthens deeply with a comfort and peace only He can provide.
If you are in the midst of grief or loss . . .
If it is hard for you to get out of bed in the morning . . .
If you are exhausted from the emotions you constantly feel . . .
If you have been betrayed or abused . . .
I pray God’s immense comfort over you. It may not be a comfort where your pain and grief is lifted. But it will be a comfort filled with the tangible love and presence of Jesus Christ. He will always meet you where you are. His presence is the anchor in the midst of the whirlwind.
We are not promised an easy, pain-free life, but God always, always promises His presence. And for that, I am grateful. His presence and His kindness in the midst of my suffering is the most tender thing He could offer.
He will always meet you where you are. His presence is the anchor in the midst of the whirlwind. -@alizalatta: Click To Tweet