Remembering and allowing grief to run it’s course

A dear and precious aunt passed away last evening. Her husband died just days before my dad three months ago. My heart breaks for her six children and their families. Through she had been very ill, it’s never easy to let go….

And all this grief, compounded with the two-year anniversary of my brother’s passing being tomorrow…well, let’s just say a landslide has taken place over the weekend.

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Yes, time eases the sting, but never the ache of missing that person, or hearing their voice speak your name.

Grief comes and it’s triggers can be unpredictable. No one can tell you how to grieve or how long is sufficient or what it looks like – really…cause grief it a strange thing…

no one can do it for you and no one can take it away from you. You simply have to trust God to replace the wedge that’s been carved out of your heart with His peace.

It just got down to the simple for me today: I’ll  miss my aunt, I miss my dad and I miss my brother.

I know I have “this hope,” in Christ. I will see them again. I know that God is faithful to comfort those who weep. I know my aunt’s children will get through this. But I’ve learned that grief is actually a gift from God. His Word tells us that He grieves. So if it’s good enough for the Alpha and Omega, it’s good enough for me. I don’t necessarily like it, but it is necessary. And God is OK with my going to him with my tears and aching heart. He is listening as I tell Him that I want to hear my father say my name. He’s drawing me close as I attempt to enjoy the memories and look forward to a future reunion.

Last night my husband and I watched a documentary about Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire- Olympian-Follower of Christ). His oldest daughter retold the story of how the news  had come to her mother regarding his death. She was in her eighties and this had taken place when she was six years old…that’s over seven decades and she began to weep as she spoke of that devastating news. So, surely this grief thing, those triggers…run deep and the memory of those we love and the loss we feel – although the sting subsides, we never really stop missing them.

I still have a lot of siblings. But losing the one that was next to me in age…the one I played with, the one I grew up with, the one that wandered and explored the creek, woods and meadows of the farm with me, the one who worked with me in the barns, the one who sat next to me as we plowed and disked up the sand with our little John Deere farm implements in the sandbox, the one who perhaps knew me the best…losing him has been hard. We had always been able to talk to each other. We always told each other we loved the other – even when we’d just been annoyed by the other- and that was into adulthood. There was no walking on egg shells – it was a good, solid and wonderful relationship.

And of course,  I still have my Heavenly Father. I’ve always said I could better understand God’s love for me because the way my earthly father loved me. I am grateful for that. But, oh, how I have walked through deeper waters of sorrow than I ever imagined since my sweet dad went home just before Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t want him back here in that worn old body of his for nothing. Neither would my mom – his faithful wife for over sixty years. And even though I cannot hug the hurt out of her…she’s willing to wait and trust that God will be faithful to fill that wedge that’s been cut from half of her heart.

So, I’ll stop by and see my sweet sister-in-law tomorrow and we’ll hold onto each other and know there aren’t any words or really anything I can do to ease her wounds…I cannot do it for her…no more than she can do it for me…but we can trust God to fill with peace the wedge that we feel so very sharply today.

And though I’m a little off, feeling a heaviness through tears, I am so grateful, so very grateful that we do have this hope in Christ, that death has no eternal sting.

For just a little while we endure…then glory comes.

 

 

 

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!