Once again it was a busy year. Roger performed in theaters across the Northeast and Midwest during the Spring and the Fall of 2023. Eric Clapton invited Roger to join him and Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers in Los Angeles for Eric’s fund raiser ”Crossroads Guitar Festival” in September. Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives joined Roger at the Ellis Theater in Philadelphia Mississippi in October. They added beautiful music to Roger’s one man play about his life. Then it was west to Austin Texas. We finished the year with Roger giving lectures titled “How Folk Music Took Me To The Rock ‘N”Roll Hall of Fame” on the Crystal Serenity and again on the Queen Mary2.
We felt a period of relaxation was good idea. Christmas on the ocean was where we wanted to be but there was something that added a time of reflection for us. In our neighborhood, one family’s father/grandfather died, another neighbors mother died and friends were going to funerals of friends and we too lost several friends during the year. I began thinking of the times that I had walked through the “tunnel of grief.” There are few words that can touch that pain but I decided to write down the experience and maybe it will help someone who is in the dark place of grief.
Jesus wept. ( The Book of John 11:35 )
I often wondered why Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. It didn’t seem logical. He had already told Martha, Lazarus’ sister,
25.“...I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in ME though he may die, he shall live.
26. And whoever lives and believes in ME shall never die. Do you believe this? ( John 11:25-26)
Jesus had already raised the dead and healed the sick. He knew he was going to bring Lazarus back to the living. So why did HE weep.
Jesus came with a purpose. HE came to save the fallen humanity and to take humanity out of the hands of the fallen angel - satan. In order to accomplish this purpose he became the son of man. He became human.
Being human meant he experienced human conditions. Hunger, thirst, abandonment, temptation, weariness, persecutions and compassion. HE saw the pain and the loneliness of losing a loved one and HE wept.
The tunnel of grief is a tunnel we will all walk through until the second coming of the Messiah. Most of the time it is a long dark tunnel with many stops and obstacles along the way to the light at the end.
It is a tunnel that for me has always had different attributes. No grief is ever the same. The overwhelming shock, sometimes relief and at all times the pain of loss can rarely be described to the heart suffering the pain.
I thought the death of my mother would be the same pain as the death of my father. I was wrong. The grief tunnel was vastly different each time. My voice reached for a higher scream when daddy was gone and strange sounds exhaled from the depths of my being when mommy died. Roger and I both were taken by surprise each time the sounds suddenly breathed from my gut. Even with Roger at my side, I was alone walking through the tunnel of grief.
There were times when I could boldly take steps and there were times when I was a heap of agony on the rocky floor of the tunnel. I never knew what trigger would cause the pain of grief to well up in my being.
There were times I felt there was no hope at seeing the light again. Then time passed. The guttural groans slowly disappeared and there was a glimmer of light at the end of the grief tunnel. As I emerged from the darkness, I began having memories, sweet memories. I began being thankful for the days of my youth with parents who loved me but more thankful to Jesus who even though I couldn’t feel it at the time, HE was always with me and HE too was weeping.
Years ago, Roger was given a death sentence by the doctor and a test. The test revealed a very high PSA. His father had died of prostate cancer so we believed the test. That night I struggled in the dark thinking of my life without him. The next morning I told Roger that when he went to be with our Lord in heaven, I would sit in a rocking chair in the dark and wait until I could join him. Roger laughed, “No Camilla. You will do that for about two weeks then Jesus is going to tell you to get up and get going. You have a purpose!”
Only our hearts know the pain of our sorrow, but Jesus knows your heart and as HIS arms are around you, HE is weeping with you. HE is there to help you take the next step. HE is not in a rush. HE wants to let you know that you will be with your loved ones again. In the meantime, they are living in GOD’S world of love, in a mansion built just for them. I had a dream of heaven and it is the most amazing love palace.
Take your time in the “tunnel of grief,” but don’t decide to park there. Let every step, small or big, take you to HIS light and to your sweet memories.
You and the world are daily in our prayers.
This letter was originally meant for our neighbors and friends who are going through the tunnel of grief. When Roger read it, I asked him what should I do with it.... He said, "Blog it. It might help someone."