When grief strikes, broken is one of the first words that comes to mind when trying to describe how we feel. Losing a loved one shatters our heart and mind, which can completely alter our lives. Grief changes us and we may never be the same person we once were.
Recently I was speaking with a dear friend who had just finished reading my book, Beautifully Broken: Finding Hope During Loss. It had touched her heart deeply and she felt compelled to share some of her thoughts with me. As she read she felt that my life was the personification of Kintsugi. I had never heard of this before and wondered if this was a good or a bad thing.
I learned that Kintsugi was a Japanese art form. In the art of Kintsugi, the areas of breakage are mended with lacquer, then dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum using a technique derived from the words “kin” which means golden and “tsugi” which means joinery. When translated it means golden repair.
Kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide, but rather something to be displayed with pride.
In Beautifully Broken I share the story of my journey with my daughter Melanie, along with the grief journey I found myself traveling on by no choice of my own. No one would willingly ask to be on this journey, yet here we are. Within the pages of the book, I give my heart a voice and instead of hiding the sorrow and the tough times, which have made me who I am, I have allowed the light to shine into the dark places. Yes, I’d say grief and Kintsugi can be very similar.
If you are willing, God can take our heaviness and sadness, using our broken pieces and turn them into a thing of beauty. Kintsugi does the same thing when it takes broken, fractured pieces and turns them into a thing to be honored with pride. It teaches that our broken pieces make us stronger and better than ever before.
When we think we are broken and shattered, we can allow God to pick up our pieces. He will put them back together as we learn to embrace the cracks.
We may be changed forever, but our love endures and it’s that love we will carry with us always.
When we lose a loved one and our world turns on its axis, we may never be the same person we once were, but it also doesn’t mean we must remain shattered forever.
We will remember the days they lived.
I’ve often refer to the state of my heart as a mosaic, which is very much like Kintsugi. Our broken pieces eventually go back together, misshapen with bumps and cracks. There will always be a hole in my heart which can only be filled by my girl. Thankfully our Heavenly Father will continue to heal the broken pieces until we can be reunited once again.
“To comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:2-3