Rhonda Cooper

Ms. Cooper is a guest blogger. She is Chaplain for Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and sister to bereaved mom, Reneau Howard, Carson’s mom.


In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone….

(Christina Rossetti)

The ache of absence may be felt most acutely during the winter months, when the earth is barren and the days are overcast.  Indeed, the heart may feel heavy as a stone, and getting through the day may take all our effort.  Even the stark beauty of a snowy landscape may escape us.  Life is no longer as it was and never will be so again, and our ways of seeing have been changed forever.

Cooper-Ache of Absence

Healing may be as quiet and progressive as a winter thaw.  The memories remain:  How could we forget?  Why should we forget?  Yet the grief will not harden our hearts – grief reminds us that we are yet alive.  The comfort of memories and the warmth of others’ love and support:  This is the sunshine which will quicken us to live as our children would have us live.

Within our hearts, we still can hear their voices:  “Mother, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers have already appeared in the land.”[1]  May our beloved ones inspire and encourage us to live anew. I pray that you will open your heart to their voices and to all those who care for you.

[1] From Song of Solomon 2.11-12

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