These words, written and sung by Marty Robbins and made most popular by Elvis Presley are ones that I struggle with every day:
But this time, Lord you gave me a mountain
A mountain you know I may never climb
It isn’t just a hill any longer
You gave me a mountain this time.
I walk along the grassy knoll enjoying the lakes and streams, where the wildflowers brighten even the darkness. I delight in the sunshine glistening and even feel comforted at times by the massive mountain I’ve yet to climb. I try to see the beauty around me because I know it is plentiful. I see it in the faces of my children and grandchildren. I see the importance of love and kindness every day. I just miss my one true love. This climb; it seems daunting. I wonder if I really have the emotional equipment necessary to take on the task. I’ve not fancied myself weak, by any means; I’ve withstood a lot in my lifetime.
So yes, I now know this mountain to be the Grief Mountain. One cannot just put on their boots and say I am going to conquer you today. I am going to climb and reach the top so that I can shout, I made it. I’m on top of this world – look at me! Rather, I stare at it. I could tether myself but I would more likely feel chained to the emotions that keep me from putting the next foot forward. Isolation in this valley is real. Of course, I know I’m not alone, I see silhouettes in my mind of others climbing too and certainly, I’ve heard the echoes of the ones that have reached the top.
It may be that I’ve already begun the climb and I just don’t recognize it. Maybe, the top is only reached when I too am healed from the earthly pain of grief. What I do know is that the grief mountain is alive and well and it’s a mountain I may never fully climb.