My youngest son will be sixteen in a couple of weeks. He has his driver’s permit, achieving good grades, and playing lacrosse for his high school. When I looked at him this week, I became extremely melancholy. In the back of my mind, I do the math. In six months it will be sixteen years since his dad died.
Where has the time gone?
Time stood still the first couple of years after Scott’s death. I tried to hurry up the grief process so I would not feel so lousy all the time. Guess what? There is no shortcut for grief. It is woven in my being forever. It is as much a part of who I am as being a wife, mother, daughter, and sister. I have learned over the years to allow the sadness to come in, face it, and conquer it. I believe God takes me through this process during this particular time every year. It is the season which leads up into holidays and busyness. I have learned not to dread this time, but acknowledge it and grow from it.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”-Psalm 56:22
THIS IS REAL-Depression and sadness is authentic and real. I would be foolish and careless to try and portray my grief walk without these components. When I feel the heaviness of these particular feelings pressing in on me, I have to draw closer to God. He gives me the courage and confidence I need to work through my emotions. It is not regularly quick and neat but in His perfect time.
I CAN RELATE-I did not ask for this responsibility, but God thinks differently. I have tried over the years to “escape” from grief groups or being around those grieving. When I engage with others in grief, I relive those first few hours after Scott died. I am reminded of what it feels like when you suddenly lose someone, the aching and burning in my stomach and the sobs emitting from the back of my throat. I have learned this is empathy; the true, raw, power of sorrow. What a privilege for God to use me as a sign of hope for someone experiencing a new loss.
EYE ON THE PRIZE-My grief journey continues to prepare me for my ultimate goal-eternity. I am constantly reminded the here and now is a fleeting blip on the radar of life. But what I accomplish here now will prepare me for my everlasting home in heaven with Jesus. It is difficult to continue focusing on something which is not seen. I am encouraged daily with my bible time, journaling, serving others, and my conversations with God.
“ I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”-Psalm 121:1-2
I love this time of year, the changing of seasons, football, holidays, and the wrap up of another year. I also face many memories and the sadness of the loss of loved ones during this time. It is all about the harmony between the joy and the sorrow. I thank God for the ability to experience and balance all of it. In turn, I hope to show others it is okay to be sad and miss our loved ones. But there is a time to be joyful for all the blessings God brings us. Until the day we are united in heaven with Him and all those who have gone before us.