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

    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.