Ah, despair. That’s the part of grieving that we’ve been avoiding all along. Here’s the pain, up close and personal. At this point we can’t run or hide. All we can do is feel. The tears come. Our heart feels like it is breaking. Fatigue captures our bodies, and it is difficult to even face a new day. This is the valley of the shadows—the dark night of the heart.
Despair comes to us when we let ourselves feel the full weight of the losses and we realize that there is nothing we can do to change our situation. I remember despair well. At times it would catch me off guard and I would find myself with tears streaming down my face and stifling sobs in the grocery store or as I sat in church. Then other times I could feel despair slowly descending over my heart like a huge black sheet of pain. Those were the scariest days when I went to bed feeling overwhelmed by grief and woke up feeling the same way. I wondered then if my heart would ever be the same again.
–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One