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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: “Thaw as in… defrost, melt, loosen, warm.

The ground is thawing. Sheets of ice are turning to puddles of water. Mountains of snow piled high by snow plows, snowblowers, and shovels are shrinking by the hour. Winter is loosening its icy grip on everything. Even our hearts are warming. We’re beginning to come back to life.

Yet along with this thaw comes the revisiting of grief.

In the weeks ahead, people will gather to say farewell to loved ones for whom they have already grieved and to whom they’ve already said goodbye. Caught in the double snare of the ravages of COVID19 and a global pandemic along with winter’s icy grip on the earth, many communities have had to forego traditional memorial services and burial practices. Large gatherings have been replaced by more intimate and far too often all-too-brief graveside services. In some areas, conventional in-ground burials have been put on hold until the Spring thaw, and with this thaw comes the work of revisiting grief. As spring-time temperatures rise and vaccination rates continue to climb, people will gather in growing numbers to revisit the grief that had been stuffed away by either convenience or necessity during colder days.

And yet, with this grief comes the reality of an enduring hope. The days are warming. So too, the ground. So too, our hearts. The hope of spring, along with the promise of the coming season of Easter is that winter will defrost, the snow and ice will melt. There will be a loosening, a warming and as teacher, speaker and writer Anne Lamott reminds us, we will dance again.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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