Putting the Pieces Back Together

Years ago, one of my children gave me a Tigger jigsaw puzzle. That’s T-I-Double Gur-Er. As soon as we had it assembled, we put the puzzle in a frame and hung him on a wall because, well, Tigger makes me smile. He doesn’t belong in a puzzle box.

Now fast forward many years. The kids are grown and Tigger has been relegated to the garage where he hangs on the wall beside my car. He sees me off to work each morning and welcomes me home in the evening. Unfortunately, one morning as I opened the garage door, a gust of wind blew the puzzle off the wall. Pieces of Tigger flew across the garage as the frame hit the floor. I ran back into the house, grabbed a handful of plastic sandwich bags and began scooping up Tigger, piece by piece.

Then began the difficult task that lasted many days as my husband and I began putting Tigger back together—without a picture to use for reference. The five most repeated words when working on a jigsaw puzzle are “Let me see the box,” but the Tigger box had been thrown out years ago. We had to carefully examine every puzzle piece, sometimes using a magnifying glass, to determine exactly where it fit. And sometimes we just had to walk away for awhile and come back to the project later, with fresh eyes and renewed energy.

Putting life back together after the winds of intense grief or loss have blown it apart is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box for reference. Every decision about jobs, finances and family has to be carefully examined. You can’t look at a picture of your future life to determine how everything fits together, nor can you make all of the decisions at one time. You have only enough emotional and spiritual energy to work on your life in spurts. You need to walk away once in awhile and come back to the countless decisions later, once you’ve had time to renew your energy. It’s slow going but piece by piece, with God’s guidance, you will put your life back together. Little by little, life will begin to take shape and one day—I pray that it’s soon—you will start to feel whole again.

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