It seems there’s two poles in the livings reaction to death:
the one pole is where people almost think death is unreal … that when we die we simply “go to a better place” where all is not only okay, but it’s better.

And then there’s another pole.  It’s the pole of darkness.  Where death is


and heavy

and monstrous.

The thick cloud of paralyzing despair … the broken apart heart.

When we experience death — especially of the traumatic and tragic kind — we will often go back and forth, from one pole to the next, yet drawn, pulled to the pole of the real where all is dark.  And we fight it.  Often changing poles day by day … at times, hour by hour.  From despair to hope and back again.

What we should seek to find in our grief is what Parker Palmer calls the creative tension between the two poles … the middle ground where our hearts are neither

totally mended


broken apart,


broken open.

That last line encapsulates the creative tension I strive for in my life:

“We’re called to live in this world with broken, open hearts. Not denying the suffering and grief, but neither striving for perfection that takes us out of the action and into a fantasy world.”


Special thanks to Monika Allen —  manager of all things awesome at YWAM Madison’s blog — who sent me the link to this video.

Enter Your Mail Address