The Alchemy of Grief and Hope | Sojourners

The Alchemy of Grief and Hope

Our personal formation depends on how we hold grief and journey with it.
The illustration show a patchwork heart on a dark blue background
Shanina / iStock

I RECENTLY HAD a conversation where I found myself feebly describing the pain of caring for an ill and aging parent. My wife, who is an exceptional curator of the emotional landscape, aptly identified my experience, my grief, as an “ache of the soul.” I find no better words for an experience so enveloping, so permeating through my body, my being, down to a cellular level — like a wave of loss that dredges the depths of the soul.

Grief can be complex and does not always begin with a terminal event. Surveyors of the human experience know well the “little” griefs that happen: the waning connection with the living; the loss of memory; the loss of energy and vitality. A once-doting parent who often inquired “Why haven’t you called?” no longer has the energy to do so. Meanwhile, whether relationships with our lost loved ones were good, complicated, or even nonexistent, the ache of the soul can be overwhelming.

Read the Full Article

The cover is a collage of a young Black couple on an upside down, blue background. Their clothing is made up of old maps of Athens Georgia
​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $3.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!
for more info