Grief. Not a fun word. No one wants to add it to their resume. "So I see here that you have 15 years of experience in grief. Can you elaborate briefly on that?" Briefly, well, really that is hard to do.
So I will tell you that this isn't a blog written so you will feel sorry for me. I really want to convey hope. Because there is hope in our Savior, Jesus. He is where we should focus our grief when it comes.
It does come. And it will come.
Today, they aren't here. Their faces, laughter, voices only captured in pieces of photos or videos. In memorabilia that I clutch in my hands. I CAN still smell her (my Mamaw) in the sewing machine as I finish the boys' costumes. My mother's scent still lingers in the leather jacket upstairs.
My hubby proudly wore his grandpa's boots yesterday at church. I hold onto to cross-stitches and sweaters (Elsie) and guitar picks (Papaw's) thinking this preserves their memories.
It does a little bit. It honors their presence in our lives.
6 years ago, I lost my mom and her mom (my Mamaw) and before that my Papaw, Aunt Sherri, and a close friend.
And in those losses, I grew distant and then closer to God. There was doubt, anger, disbelief, vats of tears, plenty of whys and mounds of shock. Temptations to drown in my sorrows the way the world does. I couldn't eat sometimes. Okay, yes, I tried chocolate, coffee, and other sorted distractions. These only brought temporary relief, but sometimes those are needed for some sanity.
Yet, I held onto Jesus and in a needed act of grace, came the understanding that as I drew near to him, He drew near to me and there was hope. Not necessarily answers, but understanding, mercy. I still hurt, but so does God for me. He gently used others to bring support and prayers and he gave me these verses:
Lamentations 3: 20-24, 31-32
And in the life of my first born son there was hope of those whom I love and lost continuing and a legacy emerging.
Then there is this song and it says it all...In my sweet brokeness came the priceless gift of understanding that Jesus understands ultimate suffering and in my tragedy came a deeper knowing of our beautiful, loving God.