By now readers of this website will have realised that my husband, John, has passed away. No matter whether the passing of a loved one is expected or unexpected those left behind will always face a time of grieving and loss.
A few days after his passing a couple who we’ve known for many years took me out for a cup of tea. As we neared a farm shop just north of Bungay, one of our local towns, I noticed a group of willow trees. One would have thought it was autumn looking at the yellowing, brownish foliage and bare branches. Although the countryside was suffering from a severe drought, I hadn’t expected to see the effect on the willows. There was a trickle of water at the bottom of the deep ditch, and I fully expected these tall trees growing on the bank to have roots going deep enough to draw on the water level, which seemed to be easily within their reach.
My host, who is far more learned about trees than I am, offered the explanation that the roots of willow trees travel sideways in the ground looking for moisture. This made sense as the roots hadn’t reached the depths of the receding water table. I have so often heard my husband say, “Go for depth rather than staying on the surface of things”. We as a family have drawn together, reaching for the depth of our love and commitment to each other at this time. No matter how sustained we are by our faith and the love and commitment of others, there are many day-to-day changes at times like this. My husband worked from home, and one could hear the sound of his voice on Zoom calls, voice recording and numerous telephone calls and comings and goings. A few days ago, as I was sitting quietly, some of the words of the poem ‘The Weaver’ by Grant Colfax Tullar came to mind. As I draw to a close, I’ll share these words with you:
The Weaver by Grant Colfax Tullar (1869-1950)
My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colours He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skilful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him.
I have found our faith in God and the workings out of his love and commitment have comforted myself and the lives of those I love at this time. We have had to dig deep to be comforted in our sorrow.