MAKING SENSE OF MY GRIEF: I lost my fragrance

I loved wearing Issey Miyake perfume. To remember the name was a struggle. Eventually, I linked it to a Kawasaki motorcycle – both are from Japan… The perfume became expensive and my purse flatlined. Fake little bottles from kiosks in shopping malls did the trick. At least I had the faint fragrance of the real thing for a while.

The wear and tear of depression stole my fragrance. I lost my essence as your absence became more than your presence. We found fun ways to rouse your awareness of me. I would say: “Earth to Andre, in which solar system are you orbiting now?” When I had a haircut, I would walk into the house and find you behind your computer. You would look up and I’ll clear my throat. That was the signal that you had to do a double-take and see if you could notice something different about me. You would exclaim: “You’ve cut and coloured your hair. It looks beautiful.” When I wore Issey Miyaki and we gave each other a one-minute-connection hug, I would make a sniffing sound and you would give me a kiss on my cheek and say: “You smell nice.” Later on, it became too much hard work to get you to notice me. I lost my fragrance.

Our sense of smell is described as the most powerful of the five senses. It is a time-consuming process to make perfume. Flowers have to die in a process of extraction to impart their fragrance in an aroma that could boost our emotional state. It takes time and effort and the best ingredients to create a perfume. Matthew 26:6-10 “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done good work for Me.”

My beloved, you no longer have to attempt to notice anything but God’s glorious presence. Your life is a fragrance poured out before God ‒ a sweet aroma to Him. A friend put cash in my hand and said: “Go and buy yourself something that you do not need. Something that will be a treat.” I immediately knew that it is time to buy a new bottle of Issey Miyaki. A new fragrance for a new season. It was something I urgently needed. I will Hold onto Him. He will give me a new alabaster jar and restore my fragrance as I encourage others who journey with depression and the threat of self-death.

Annette de la Porte (author of Hold onto Him)

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