So far 2017 has been a beast.

It’s stolen treasure from our family. My sister-in-law’s mother died December 22. My precious grandmother died at 91 from a bout with pneumonia on January 19. On January 23, the day we laid grandmother to rest, we got word that my husband’s mother had died while we were away.

We spent the first days of 2017 in funeral homes, churches, and shock. We relied heavily on our friends and each other. We learned how family is family and friends are family and how family are friends.

I suspect that even now I’m over{re}acting to situations with my mom who has just this day been released from hospital.

I recently posted this quote on my Facebook Blog page:

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend toward cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I’ll become saccharine and won’t develop much compassion for other people’s suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.  — Francis Weller

Truth is — God is near the brokenhearted.

While I find it a little hard to confess, I did just hit Google with: What does it mean God is  near the brokenhearted? One of the websites that caught my eye: Hebrew4Christians.com.

The site says: “The LORD is near to the nishbar lev, the one with the broken heart.” And, this: “The LORD is near — karov — to the brokenhearted.” Karov means close enough to touch.

{Re}adjusting. Hard.

I’ll lug along with my grief for awhile, but right beside it I have to carry  the deep and rich and weighty gratitude.

It will likely rip me wide open again and again.

Yet, God’s nearness will be ever sweet.