The Liminal Space of LIFE AFTER LOSS – Jenny Lovell

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Take comfort from this in your darkest hour.
Others have plumbed the secrets of the night.
The lost Rose garden they found at last.
See, out of darkness – light.
~ Anonymous

 Remembering countless others who have also suffered loss.

Little did I know, seven and a half years ago, that I was about to enter a “Dense Fog of Grief” – a space forced on me by the sudden passing of my beloved husband, Syd.

I could hardly talk. If I did sleep at all, when I awoke the shock of his passing hit me again like a train in the night with a pain I had never experienced. Time passed slowly, but I felt I would be forever frozen in that place.

I didn’t want this unfamiliar pain and I couldn’t imagine, at the time, that this was a launching pad into a new life. Although it would be a slow journey, the transition from the numbness of grief to new found joy had indeed begun.

It was with thanks to God that I could proceed on this journey. Without the knowledge that He cares for us and ordains our every step, and that He has a purpose for our lives,  I would have gone insane. My heart went through a roller coaster of profound and memorable emotions during that time. I discovered how He speaks to us constantly through others, books, etc,. I can recall coming across “the right” articles and people at just the “right time” and that caused my soul to come alive again and to dare to dream of a new future. This was paramount in the early years. The transition of insecurity to security ~ a new uncharted Liminal Space.

Sometimes it takes a plunge into darkness to realise how beautiful God’s light can be. Darkness to light ~ a true Liminal Space

Through the ensuing years I experienced the care of my wonderful family and friends. Family members came to stay with me for a month after Syd’s passing and kept in constant contact. Others invited me over for dinner, or “tea” as we say in Australia! Friends came by or left a note stuck in my front door or under my door mat; neighbours brought food over. These acts of kindness helped steer me to a calm place.

The liminal spaces of life are filled with choices and new opportunities. On my journey through, I now choose to embrace all that is around me and that enriches my life. In the  liminal space of transition through Loss ~ one can choose to be stuck in the waiting room of grief or to step out and start to embrace a new life. It is daunting and overwhelming, but if you take one step of faith at a time into HIS irresistible future, you will be amazed at how far you’ve come and will go. I love the saying, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step!”

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One of the great Jewish spiritual teachers of the 20th century, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel argues that facing death gives life meaning; that life and death are both part of a greater mystery; that by virtue of being created in no less than God’s image, we can imagine an afterlife for humanity–yet at the same time death itself is an antidote to human arrogance; and that in death we pay gratitude for the wonder and gift of our existence.*

The Liminal Space of Loss, like every liminal space, is a place of constant change; a place of moving forward, transitioning from old to new. Even if I could travel back in time to my previous safe, comfortable life, I wouldn’t fit any more, because I am not the same person. I have stepped from the darkness into light.

 

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~ Jenny Lovell

Jenny

Jenny Lives in Adelaide South Australia, near the popular beach-side suburb of Glenelg. Her passion is cooking, baking & photography. She loves spending time with her family as well as reading, listening to music, pottering in the garden, walking/running by the ocean and swimming.

* Excerpted from Heschel’s essay Death as Homecoming, published in Jewish Reflections on Death, edited by Jack Riemer

6 thoughts on “The Liminal Space of LIFE AFTER LOSS – Jenny Lovell

  1. Your words spoke deeply into my soul, Jenny. Having faced the challenge of traversing the same liminal space after my beloved Dwight’s passing to Olam HaBa, (and in many ways I am still needing to learn to live without him) i could so appreciate what you shared. Very grateful for the Lord’s help, and that of true friends, to take those first few painful steps…and, now, to keep moving upward into His irresistable future!

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