The Abyss of Grief

Then from the cold abyss a cold hand appeared ,
and spellbound he watched as this mysterious hand takes flight,
and it was aimed at his heart.
At the threshold of his chest the hand points a finger and inserts in through his left rib cage,
and it finds its desired target, and with the flick of a wrist his heart was frozen.
Once it was frozen broken fragmented pieces of his heart where more visible, and it just simply shattered and that mysterious hand returned to the abyss as softly as it had come


Often grief comes on, unexpectedly, and it feels like you got punched by Floyd Mayweather.

Welcome to the sidelines with Donavan. Grief can be an abyss and together we will learn how to navigate it.

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Death…the enemy

Today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining…it’s 75 degrees…purrr-fect! Then I get to work and before I enter the building, the news is received…a co-worker was killed in a motorcycle accident. Instantly, my heart sinks. I say…What? I can’t believe that! As soon as the words are spoken, immediately another thought comes which says, I ‘can’ believe. It happened with my son….my baby; suddenly…without warning. Death happens all of the time but neither the surprise nor the sting ever goes away. I look forward to the day when death will be swallowed up in victory.

Paul couldn’t have said it any better than he did in 1 Corinthians 15:55-58:

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”i
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Let’s be faithful and choose to live for Jesus everyday.

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The memories of Justin are still alive!

This past weekend marked the two year anniversary since my youngest son, Justin passed away. It was difficult…which was no surprise. I expected that.  God is the only one who really understands the depth of  my pain…or the pain of anyone who is going through . The grieving process is so personal…so individualized.  We may both be separated by death from a child or other loved one but your journey through grief is not necessary the same path that I take. And guess what?  That’s Ok.

However, for me, it is a beautiful thing to have love, support and encouragement from others; to know that I matter to you and how I feel matters even though you don’t really understand what I’m going through or the depth of it.  Donavan, my oldest son, was here with me and two of Justin’s friends Richard and Ephriam along with the prayers and support of other family members, co-workers and friends.

I had a thought for and ‘in memory’ of project. The thought became a prayer, which became a written plan, which became The Justin’s Way Project, which became my mission to accomplish and God blessed it all.   The JW project was inspired by memories of Justin…how he gave his coat away to a homeless lady in Huntsville…shared funds with others in need….marched in Montgomery against Alabama’s  HB 56 law which for one would separate immigrant parents from their children.  I was inspired to reach out to Daphine Tedder at The Manna House.  This local  soup kitchen is open 5 days a week to assist the homeless and needy by providing  breakfast and lunch. By God’s Grace and with help from many of you and  in a short time period, I was able to raise and present over $700.00 to The Manna House!  To God Be The Glory!!                                                                 Vanessa and Daphne 32214           securedownload 

Vanessa and Daphine                                                     Donavan, Daphine and Vanessa        securedownload  From the center-clockwise: Vanessa, Richard, Donavan and Ephriam

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It is finished

Do you feel lost, with the path ahead feeling uncertain? Do you feel like nothing you do is ever right, and the failures pile up as tall as the highest mountains? Do you try to live right, and all you seem to do is fall? Is your life feeling like a cyclical of grief? Are facing grief; loss of loved ones, loss of income, it maybe a house, health, or whatever the case maybe. These words are for you.

Isaiah 53:5 says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by His stripes, we are healed.”

Over 2000 years Jesus came to live out a life we can not live, He experienced grief that wasn’t his to bear, to suffer for crimes he did not commit, to die for sins he had no part in. Why did he do this? He did it all for us, so that we may have the access to live victorious lives no matter what comes our way. So that when on the cross when he would say, ” It is finished”, he was abolishing all the obstacles that keep us from God. He tore down those walls that through his blood, and the power of his spirit, we can become overcomers through him that loved us.

Life can be a vacuum pit of all kinds of misery and grief, but even in our grief and despair he will be there to lift us up and give us the strength to carry on.

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A Defining Pain

There’s a lot of moments in our lives that we could call defining moments. For example kindergarten graduation, starting first grade, middle school graduation, matriculating through high school, etc.

What do these defining moments have in common? They are accompanied by joyous celebration, encouragement for the future, and happy memories. We often remember these defining moments with distinctive happiness.

Sometimes defining moments aren’t so joyous. For instance the loss of a job, or a major breakup, or most heart wrenching the loss of a loved one. What do we do with these overwhelming and chaotic moments.

Jesus disciples had been fishing all night, and they looked a far off and see an unknown figure walking towards them on the water. They begin to be very afraid, Peter said master if its you , bid me to come to you. Jesus tells him to come. He begins to walk on the water as he approaches Jesus. The closer he gets he begins to focus on the wind and rue waves around him and he begins to sink. He says master save me or I will perish. Jesus reaches down and pulls him up. Often we are like Peter and feel like we are walking on water until the unthinkable waves and wind of life would seek to engulf us. Grief is like the wind and waves of the seas of Galilee. Like Peter we can cry our to Jesus and he will lift us from rye angry waves

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Dark Hole of Grief

He sat in despair, his soul is aware, the ire and madness surrounds him.

He feels consumed, enraged, drowning helpless, invisible, and his heart and his soul feel totally divisible.

Will he see the dawning of a budding future or will it crumble to dust .

Now he must chase after life with a passionate lust , to learn to live again after the knife that grief thrust.

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Ahhhh….it’s been a loooong time since I’ve posted . Life has a way of creating detours that throws us off track but oh if we would look to the hills from whence cometh our help, God will help us get back on track once again !

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Defining Grief

Grief is a mind shattering, mind numbing, soul tingling, catastrophic wave washing over you time and time again. It can stagnate you, cripple you , leave a gaping hole that can never be filled. Grief is a lack , a hollow void , but what also is grief? Grief is an intense crater sized hole that’s a testament to the existence of love. I’ll borrow a quote from the marvel cinematic universe, “what is grief, but love persevering ” to know grief you had to know love, it is two sides of the same coin.

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Navigating in the Dark

Lost in the dark missing that spark, everything feels off the mark. His soul filled with holes, life’s monotony feels drole. He can envision but never quite grasping what it is he desires. Aloof his goals, should he give up, or buckle down and drink this bitter cup.  

The dark night spangled with light from the sparsity of stars seems to resonate with his soul. He feels emotional derision has cost him a heavy toll 

In the dark feeling stark with dread, will he succeed or will his dream be dead,  

However one day he will hit his mark, revitalize , find the light and regain  find his spark and sing anew, like that beautiful bird the illustrious lark.

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Life’s s conundrum

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall humpty dumpty had a big fall. All the kings horses and kings men could not put humpty dumpty back together again. When we hear this fabled nursery rhyme as a kid we rarely think that one day this will be a euphemism for life. However more shocking still is that we find sometimes we are humpty dumpty shattered into in-congruent pieces. We all have a projected image of how we want our life to be. The pendulum in our minds begin to swing the moment we are able to grasp the concept of attaining to be more than we are. This is made relevant in the aspirations of little kids to be a particular thing when they grow up. A firefighter, a policeman , a doctor, ems, an athlete, singer, actor, or other vocation. As kids we gain exposure and in turn acquire a thirst to pursue lofty dreams. Some peoples aspirations from childhood never change and they begin to pour heart, soul, blood , sweat , tears, and a massive amount of ambition into a single solitary goal. However for others this aspiration changes , evolves , grows, or multiplies. No matter the category you fit in, there was a projected image or images on what direction you wanted your life to take. As kids we start strong ,full of zeal, pizzazz, and gusto. We all plan tentatively for things to go right , nut we are stumped rail roaded and despondent when life goes south and our plants start to sour. Unlike humpty dumpty , often we have several falls that obliterate all we had ever known to be true. How do we construct a meaningful life during lifes biggest conundrums?

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What’s your catalyst

What is a dream?  Who can define destiny?  Merely words,  useless, unless enacted upon.  We tend to wax poetic with flowery words,  but how many of us are walking out dream. Visualization versus actuation of a thing. If we don’t take the necessary steps for our futures we are no more mobile than a man without legs .  When we choose to not act we corrode the force of our will.  We make ourselves suspectible to the terrors that lurk In the shadows that would be our undoing.

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The act of insanity

You can’t get water from a dry well. . It’s impossible.  Some of the company we keep are like dry wells.  Despite this we try to cultivate progress and success,  with these dry human wells.  It’s impossible.

Sometimes we have to dig new wells and cultivate new meaningful relationships to create the conditions that promote growth.
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The difference between letting go and giving up

To give up means I have surrendered to defeat.  Circumstances didn’t go my way,  now I wallow here saying I shouldn’t have tried in the first place.
To give up means I fall never to rise again,  to give up means my soul may never mend.
I choose to let go,  meaning I have resolved at the end of the day I’m determined to be okay.  Life is a fickle creature, but my head shall remain held high.  I let go, releasing myself of circumstamtial burdens , I release the noose from my soul,  I free my mind of the inner turmoil and chaos and find I am at one with myself
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