Strength is a mind blowing concept. How can something so certain be present at a time of such uncertainty? I am in the midst of something I’ve only experienced once in my life. I like to call it tragedy induced resilience. I mean, how can we laugh when all that’s left on the inside are shattered pieces of a love lost? How can music play and not render us to our knees in misunderstanding of the Lord’s will? How can we pace around a house that was waiting for [you]to come back and make it a home again? How is it remotely possible to stand before the strongest woman of this family and ask “What do you need?” knowing there isn’t a single thing she needs other than to have this void filled that we know will never be full again.

Strength is funny because it taunts you. When you want to fall apart and crawl under a rock, it pulls you by your ankles out into the sunlight and toys with the corners of your mouth until they curl up into a smile. Strength tickles your vocal chords and your tear ducts until laughter comes from deep inside your stomach and forces tears to trickle down your cheeks. Happy tears, in the midst of sorrow. Strength is more than we could ever imagine. Strength makes us more than we could ever imagine ourselves to be.

Sorrow has the ability to make us unrecognizable. Sorrow can rip our insides out and replace it with unfamiliar mush. But strength…strength can take the mush and reform it into something we know. Strength has the ability to recreate the ruin and make it into familiar structure. Even in the middle of chaos and mourning, we are able to be strong. Strong for one another, strong for friends and even strangers. Strong for the children, strong for mornings and strong for nights. But most of all, we are able to be strong for ourselves.

After all is said and done, after all is laid to rest; though our hearts will be altered by loss, we will still be who we are. We will be same people we were before grief, before confusion, before anger, before sadness…

We will be STRONG.


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