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Shepherd's Door

A Widow’s Grief

From Jan, a staff member of Portland Rescue Mission:
Maria* is a young woman whose husband died six months ago.  As part of her process for working through her grief, she wrote a letter to God: 
Dear God,

If I knew how I felt, I would tell you. But I don’t. 

Sometimes I’m sad, but I’m good at remembering why I should be happy. Sometimes I’m angry, but I’m also very grateful. Sometimes I’m lonely, but I’m normally too busy to notice. 

I guess I just feel pretty hollow…like half of me got ripped away and I’m still pretending to be whole. But the part of me that’s left is so numb it doesn’t even notice the emptiness. 

I’m tired and numb and feel like I’m on a roller coaster and I’m ready to get off now. 
Maria is just like any person fresh in grief, except…Maria is also an addict.  She came to Shepherd’s Door, the women and children’s ministry center of Portland Rescue Mission, to work through her pain and break the power of her addiction.  Her journey is brand new.  Much struggle awaits her. 
“I see myself in a room with God,” Maria describes. “I’m mad at Him, but I don’t want him to leave the room.”  
Drug overdoses and suicides leave an increasing number of adults and children in grief.  Like Maria, these men, women and children are susceptible to the lure of substance abuse to numb their pain. 
These issues can seem far too deep for us to help.  Yet daily, we see people like Maria reach out to a God who loves them.  Though it’s a slow process, transformation happens.  Only God can do that.
*Name changed for privacy