I was asked last night, as I showed my tattoo, what it represented. At first I thought, well isn’t it obvious? Then I realized it might not be entirely clear to some. Why the Raven? It is because I finally truly believe that God is the great comforter. Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. We tell each other these things when they lose someone. We write them in condolence cards, but do we actually believe it? In my darkest hour of my 45.75 years, a song came to my sister as I buried my daughter. It was a song she hadn’t heard since she was little. She heard it over and over and after looking it up on the internet, she shared the song with me. How did she know my heart was pierced by the thought of my daughter alone in the darkness in the darkest part of the night? Only God knew my thoughts. The Beatles songs lyrics are
Take these broken wings and learn to fly…..
Into the light of the dark black night.
When I heard these words, I knew the song was meant for me and to tell me she had flown into the light. I hadn’t heard the song since I was little, but I knew it was for me. I continued to see blackbirds, at her memorial site and around me.
If you have read previous posts, you know that I found out my long time massage therapist lost her daughter in a similar way and that our daughter’s birthdays were the same day. What I didn’t tell you is that I learned recently, after the song and all that went on, that her daughter had a daughter, her name believe it or not is Raven. (hoping it’s ok to share that!) To add to the way God works in our lives, she moved her office last week. I drove up the familiar hill wondering if she knew the field behind her new place of business is our cemetery. She thought it was a park. God is here. He shows up in our deepest sorrow, like it or not.
The Raven on my back, above the cross, covered in red roses, represents not only my daughter rising into God’s light, but myself rising out of the darkest part of my life. Yesterday, I had breakfast with a women that I was had been told I needed to connect with by the local American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. See I had promised my daughter on that burial day, that I would do the things she wasn’t able to do, I would help others in her name. In the last couple of years, she had looked for a hiking group in the Portland area, she had never found a local group to connect with. I set out looking into the local AFSP to see if there was a program. On their website was something called “Hikes for Hope” and I sent the director a message. He put me in contact with a women who had lost her son 4 years ago, in a similar way, that had started a wilderness program.
As I sat pushing food around my plate, I told the women my story as best I could. I told her of the things that comforted me and why. She laughed a bit at my new obsession with ravens and told me she and her husband call each other crows, and that she had black birds all around her house. I made her send me pictures in my disbelief. Sure enough, they are everywhere in her house.
We talked of heart breaking issues and I smiled as two blackbirds flew above us. The woman was not shy in pushing me to tell her my ideas for helping others, I told her of my idea of hikes for teens and young adults in need and she immediately wanted to see how my idea could be part of her new foundation and AFSP. She even threw out the name I had mulled over for a fundraiser in March, the Mikenna March, even before I told it to her. As I told her my story, she became part of my story. I wondered later if I have become part of hers and where this will lead us? We will take our broken wings and learn to fly… into the light of the dark black night