The tsunami of grief strikes without warning, even miles from tragedy’s epicenter.
Swallowing us whole, this wave of terror and loss, tortuous heartache and helpless worry. Tumbles us until exhausted, we slam into something as jagged and harsh as the storm itself.
But solid, it alone stands fast against the waves. So we hold on.
This hope is not warm and welcoming like a feather bolster on grandmother’s bed. Not wedding-day hope, not hope that wraps us in its arms and promises all will be okay, hush, don’t worry.
This hope stands in defiance. Obsidian, created with a hiss when unfailing love hits the icy waters of unspeakable odds. Hope as brutal as the storm itself, hope that dares us to cling to it, slicing our hands when we grasp it.
But we hold on. Partly because we have nothing else, and mostly because we know this fierce hope offers our only chance at survival, the only thing stronger than the waves.
And while those waves rage, we cling. The salt-water of doubt stings into a thousand tiny cuts. High tides of grim prognosis and unfavorable odds slam us, dare us to let go.
But we hold on.We beg humbly for mercy, or we scream angry curses, or we do not speak at all, having abandoned the idea that anyone is listening.
It does not matter. As we hold on, grace transfigures these all to become the same prayer. And it is heard.
Then at moments we feel we cannot keep our grip any longer, illuminated in flashes of lightning, in the midst of the waves, we realize something that changes everything.
Others cling with us.
That knowledge sustains us, fuels determination that we will not surrender to the storm. We wedge our bleeding hands into the crevices of the Cape of Defiant Hope, and we do not let go.
We hold on.