“You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance;
“You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you.” Psalm 30:11
In traditional wedding vows, we hear the phrase “until death do we part.” In today’s world, nearly half of all marriages end in a premature death through divorce, and in many other marriages in which divorce is not an alternative, the couple suffers a death of their relationship. There may be a celebration when the ink dries on the divorce decree, but the dance is not one of joy.
When a marriage ends through the death of a partner, strong emotions circle around those who mourn. Grief groups, books, and the help and concern of friends and family help them work through their grief to find a sense of joy in their lives again. One woman widowed a couple of years ago recently said, “I feel guilty that I’m having such a great time.” I believe God is smiling on her–she gets it. God made it possible for people to grieve hard and then party hard with a new kind of joy in their heart. “Until death do we part” means exactly that. A new life, a new you, and a new way of living is to be celebrated when grief lifts enough to see that the sun is still shining.
Dear Lord, may you wrap your arms around those who struggle to let go of grieving and smile upon those who find a new life without their loved ones. Amen.