Do you know there are ultraviolet and infrared light/colors present in a rainbow? But the naked eye can only pick up the seven colors of the spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.
Let's assume the vibrant colors of the rainbow symbolically express the layers of beauty life has to offer, and the colors not seen represent the segments of adversity we face. After all, life isn't always beautiful. There are periods of time when it can be cruel and littered with hardships, and losing a loved one is one such hardship.
Those of us who have walked (or who are walking) through the valley of grief, know it's impossible to see anything colorful in the rawness of grief. We find it hard to believe there will be better days, brighter days ahead.
And while there's no timeline for grief—life, however, cannot go forward until the storm within us begins to subside. Only then will the rainbows vibrant colors slowly filter back into our lives. No doubt we will see them in a different light, but through perseverance and God's guidance, the hurtful memories will fade, and we will find a pot of gold within the treasured memories of our loved one.
I know this to be true in my own life. I will never forget the dreaded phone call that forever changed me. Losing my mom of 56 years to a massive heart attack (in August of 1987) plunged me into a dark place, where grief virtually took me down an unhealthy road toward a mental breakdown.
I couldn't see the beauty of the rainbow anymore. I was being sucked into, what felt like, a whirling vortex, void of color. I tried each day to kick into survival mode, to put one foot in front of the other for my four-year-old daughter and five-month-old son, leaving me little time to give attention to what was, indeed, happening inside my body. There was no checklist to help me navigate through grief, no access to grief resources like we have today. Besides, it was as if grief and depression carried a greater stigma back then—an awkwardness—you might say, which made it even harder to admit that I needed help.
But with hindsight comes perspective: My near breakdown was a breakthrough into the window of my grief, the beginning of my healing process.
In our unique way, we will forever mourn our loved ones. There will always be a part of us that feels sadness over their loss. Having said that, though, as they continue to live on in our heart, we will be able to enjoy the beauty of the rainbow once again—through the many memories we'd shared together.