Please note this is a series. To start at the beginning, click the “Life Story” tab under the header. Last week, we ended with the death of my father. (Click here to read)
Grief is a funny thing. As in, you can go along thinking “Wow. I’m actually feeling pretty good today,” and you start to think you might have nipped this whole thing in the bud only to find the next day you’re decimated by a sadness you can’t shake.
It’s a continual two steps forward, one step back process–but nonetheless, you’re still moving ahead.
And ever-so-slowly, you find yourself sitting on the day when you actually DO start to nip it in the bud.
I’m not saying it doesn’t rear it’s ugly head now and then but for me, the grief emerges as bittersweet moments when I realize what’s truly been lost.
Like when my boys are acting like hooligans (which is most of the time but I love ’em for it) and wrestling loudly on the floor and someone gets their head bumped and smacks the other one upside the head so “it’s fair.”
I hear his laughter.
Or when my sweet Sarah pretend plays and tells stories from an overwhelmingly active imagination.
I can see her wrap him the same way I did.
He shows up in so many ways–but I don’t believe it’s him.
When someone we love dies, they don’t go to heaven and begin controlling what goes on down here.
Only God has the power to do that.
But God, being the beyond-what-we-could-ever-comprehend lover of our souls, gives us those precious pockets of time when we know the one we’ve lost is OK and busy worshiping Him for eternity.
When I see blackbirds flying off into the sunset. When I hear pretty much any song from the ’70’s. When I get mailings from the Wheeler Mission (the homeless shelter where he lived after living on the streets).
I’m reminded of where he is and while it’s so much better than where he was, I still miss him. The longing for a lost loved one doesn’t ever go away.
While grief becomes much more manageable, a piece of your heart goes with them.
After filing for divorce and losing my father, I began to stand on wobbly faith legs and commit myself to being a follower of Jesus.
Honestly, not much changed. I still partied like a rock star. I still dated guys who weren’t really any better than my former husband (I know. . . ). And I still didn’t quite get ANYTHING about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
When you become a believer later in life, you don’t just flip the switch and change your ways. It’s a process–and it can be a slow one.
One lovely spring afternoon, after dating a guy who was going to take me down the same path as the one before (again . . . I know), one of my co-workers had had it.
“Let’s find you a good guy instead of these guys who are going to break your heart again,” she said.
I went to lunch and when I returned, I found a Post-It note on my screen.
“Here’s your next husband,” it read.
There, staring at me from the monitor, was a strikingly handsome fella.
And . . . we were the same age. And he was also divorced.
Heart racing, I thought it over the rest of the day. That evening, I paid the $20 to email him.
We talked electronically then one day we spoke on the phone. For three hours.
He had been on that site for just two days. Turns out, his roommate had had enough of the girls he was bringing around.
Reluctantly, he decided to give it a whirl.
I’m so glad he did . . .
We’ll continue with Part Eleven next Monday . . .
Ooooohh…can’t wait to hear the next part!
You are so right in losing someone. It is God showing us little glimmers that all is well with our loved one. Thinking of it in that light, makes it much easier to bear at times.
I think I know how this story goes! Natalie…you have been such in inspiration to me for so many years – from teaching and now from being a wonderful mom and Christian! I know I haven’t commented, much before, but I wanted you to know I LOVE reading your writing and inspiring stories!!!
So frustrating…to be left hanging…even though I already know what happens. ;) Your writing draws me in…