When You’re Rooted in Grief


“I don’t know why I’m so exhausted,” I text.

“The weather,” she responds.

I toss and turn and dream and wake up and doze and wake up. Energy wanes. We’ve eaten out more than in.

I wonder–could the root be grief? Is that what’s gripped me in the gray of these cold days? Did it sneak up and grab me me when I wasn’t looking? When I was too busy to pay attention?

Last year at this time I was living in the hospice house, and before the month was out, my mother. had. died.

And now the family looks ahead to Thanksgiving–a day that will never be the same. A day when we’ll have to find a new way, new traditions. A day when we can look back and give thanks for our roots, for memories deep. But a day that will still be steeped in sadness.

I shake my head. I don’t want to think about it.

The bank is overgrown with weeds. The place where my mother-in-law had tied herself to a tree in order to plant flowers. They were so proud of the house they built here on the creek–where they fled from this house where we live, with its hard-to-keep-upness and its roots buried in deep in the roots of land and family.

We’ve had to evict the renters, and my heart aches with the pain of that and the lack of respect for the roots planted here. For the apparent white supremacist stickers slapped on left-behind shelves, for the garage piled with garbage, for trash spread in the yard and down the bank. For the faded Pennsylvania Dutch symbol above the garage door.

I remember…

I shake my head. I don’t want to think about it.

But the name’s still embedded, and the water still flows.


Five Minute Friday


  1. says

    Beautiful words that create a picture. So sorry for your grief, so thankful that you can use words to express it that will bless others. Thank you for writing!

  2. says

    Oh my dear friend, I’ll be praying for you during this season of Thanksgiving. That He would come and scoop you up and turn your mourning into dancing, your sorrow to joy.

    Your pictures are so beautiful.

  3. says

    I will be praying, sweet friend, for new beginnings and healed memories; for rest and peace; for restoration and joy; for you – you are much loved.

  4. says

    I know how hard it is, missing loved ones at holidays and anydays… May the image of your mom singing her praises at the Lord’s right hand bring you joy you didn’t expect.

  5. says

    Grief isn’t the only thing in your past…the first few are difficult, but joy comes when we least expect it. Losing my father unexpectedly kept me from seeing the world for a year. Numb to all…good and bad, but I woke from sleep, tingling in arms and legs. It hurt, but at least I am alive again.

  6. says

    Hurting with you. There’s really so little respect out there. When I drove by mom and dads place, it was already changing by the new owners. It’s there’s to do with as they will, but some things I wish they would just leave alone.