MAKING SENSE OF MY GRIEF: My heart needs mending

There was a chill in the air this morning. I decided to wear my warm purple jersey. When I picked it up, I noticed that the sleeve had come undone, revealing a gaping hole. You left a gaping hole in my heart, my Beloved.

I found a new song of the King singers whose harmonising we loved. It is a song by Billy Joel with the title ‘And so it goes’. I share some of the lyrics. “In every heart there is a room, A sanctuary safe and strong, I will share this room with you, and you can have this heart to break. So I would choose to be with you, that’s if the choice were mine to make, but you can make decisions too and you can have this heart to break. And so it goes and so it goes and you’re the only one who knows.”

A principle we lived by in our marriage was joint decision-making. When we could not agree on something, you had the right to veto my opinion. You seldom did. At the beginning of lockdown we would often both be on Zoom sessions on our laptops. One of us would sit in the bedroom at the back of the house to be out of hearing distance of the other. I suggested that instead of calling it by the boring name of our guestroom, we should call it our sanctuary. It looks out on the beautiful back garden that our tenant Guilma made with black-eyed Susan vines blossoming in orange joy against the wall. It was in the sanctuary that I found you dead on the 30th of May. How fitting.

As part of my bereavement counselling, I made a Sozo appointment with a friend in Pretoria. At the end she guided me in a conversation with Pappa God. He showed me that André did not die alone. I could visualise how the Trinity ministered to him after his death. Father God picked him up in His arms and laid him down on the bed. Holy Spirit opened a flask of anointing oil and poured some in the Father’s hands. He put His hands on your head, my Beloved, and gently caressed your hairless head. Jesus was holding your hand and took some of the anointing oil and wiped both your hands with it. Holy Spirit removed your new warm slippers and anointed your feet with oil. For a moment they stood in silence, just being with you. They looked at me and Pappa God announced: “We are taking him home now.” Father God picked you up in his arms and with Jesus and Holy Spirit on either side, they took you to heaven, your eternal Sanctuary in the presence of God.

Exodus 15:17 “You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance. The place, O Lord, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.”

In my heart there is a room, it was your sanctuary safe and strong.
I have shared this room with you, and you can have this heart to break.
So I would choose to be with you, but that was not my choice to make.
You can make decisions too. You have used your veto right, without a discussion this time.
You can have this heart to break.
And so it goes and so it goes and you’re the only one who knows.

Mend the gaping wound in my heart, Pappa God, the vast emptiness that was left by my Beloved.

Annette de la Porte

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