Saturday, 12 June 2021 14:04

The Laying On Of Hands

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti
The Laying On Of Hands Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha

Yet his absence weighted my heart with deep silence.~Elizabeth Gilbert (From City of Girls)

I am flattened by this news. Pressed down. I need a spatula to scrape me up. Sadness unfolds across the universe to hear that a man took his life--a loved one of my friend. The act of suicide is desperate, pain so deep and cavernous that those left behind may not even have been aware of the suffering. There is a collective flattening now. We all need spatulas as our hearts are weighted with his absence. It is not clear what to do or think or feel. It is good to ask: "Have I eaten anything today?" "Am I hydrated?" "What will I wear to the funeral? What about my hair?" (It is okay to ask these seemingly mundane questions.) Self-care is important now. 

Feelings are numb. Shock prevails. We say, "Is he really gone? Just last week I saw him, read his post on Instagram." We listen over and over to the voice mail. "Can he really not be just down the road in his house with his beautiful wife? He had a good job. What happened? What happened?"

We have questions. Heartbreak. 

Perhaps comfort can reside in divine shelter, even in the silence, even when we cannot pray or believe, our hearts freighted with confusion and despair. 

But the Lord God has become my divine helper. He leans into my heart and lays His hands upon me.~Psalm 54:4 ( From The Passion Translation)

Blessing For Comfort

There is no end to suffering here in this typography of the universe. The pain surges on and on and on. Infinite.

Death, death everywhere.

Our hearts are broken, numb. Silent. We are mute and cannot pray. We lament, our eyes hot with tears that leak down our cheeks and drip down onto our necks. It is okay. It is okay. It is okay. Toxins escape through the tears.

Amidst the ocean of grief, there are signs. A hummingbird appears at the window, light glinting from its wings. A flicker of hope that the absent one is okay. There are dreams in the night watches. Someone listens. "Tell me more about the one you love."

May God be your divine helper. Your companion in the dark. 

May you feel Him leaning into your fainting heart and placing His hands there. 

May you feel His touch rippling, rippling across your broken heart, bringing warmth, creating light, transcending death.


If you (or a loved one) are contemplating suicide, please know there is help and support: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-270-8255 (Available 24 hours).


More in this category: « Wind, Water, Song Ipecac »

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.