As we said our goodbyes to Aria’s body at the hospital, we prayed with the chaplain who had been counseling us during our time there. She wrote a beautiful blessing for her that honored her life perfectly. That prayer had a profound impact on us, because amid all of the heartache, our spirits were lifted. As we said “amen” and raised our heads, Brian and I looked at each other and knew that although we were embarking on the most difficult journey we would ever face, we would survive. It’s such a strange thing to be both utterly shattered, and also at peace. It’s not really something I can adequately describe in words.
Since then, there have been many moments when my tears were suddenly halted, and Horatio Spafford’s beautiful hymn, “It is Well with My Soul” would play in my head.
And those words are so true.
It’s hard to admit, because hopelessness wants me to believe that it’s impossible for my soul to thrive after loss. It tells me that Aria exists only in sadness, and that stepping into the light means leaving her behind.
But that isn’t true. Not one bit.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know or say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
That isn’t to say it still isn’t hard. It is. I’m not at the end of grief. This is a journey I will walk for the rest of my days. There are days when I am weary, and life seems nearly impossible. But there is always this nagging feeling that reminds me my soul is well, and soon I will be too.