A friend of mine posted the following status update on her social media account this morning:
"It has been 30 days since my dad went to heaven...30 days without his hugs, 30 days without hearing his jolly laugh, 30 days without his friendship and advice, 30 days without him yelling at our kids. I have learned in the past 30 days that family is everything just as he taught us. My faith brings me peace. His memory is alive in his children and his grandchildren, and life without him is going to be tough some days."
There is grief and loneliness when we lose someone we love. Even though we know we are pilgrims on a journey and earth is not our eternal home, the sadness of parting is very real. It was the same for Jesus at the death of Lazarus. Scripture gives us the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." The pain and sadness we feel is a reflection of the love and closeness we enjoyed with the other person. What a blessing to have experienced such love!
After reading my friend's post it made me reflect upon my own dad. He has been gone from this earth for 21 years already. That is almost hard to imagine. Where does the time go? My kids did not get the opportunity to know grandpa and I am sorry they missed out on that component of life. Some things are simply beyond our control.
Finally, it was on this day 73 years ago that my mom and dad were married. I know this day each year brings a fresh set of emotions to my mom. She has stood alone without dad for 21 years now, and that has not always been easy. Flourishing and blooming in a new set of circumstances clearly brought challenges and difficulties through the years. Some of the storms were weathered well and others not as well. Still, my mom continues on.
To all who are grieving the recent loss of a loved one, please know of God's love for you. The pain and sadness is real and it does not subside quickly. Grieving is a process and we each proceed at our own pace. Allow time to mourn. If you need to talk and unburden yourself of some of the cares, please reach out to someone. It can be a family member, a friend, a counselor, or your pastor or clergy person. In addition to the infinite love of God, there are also other people around you who will be sure you are not standing alone.
On this holiday weekend, it is my hope that you are blessed with an abundance of family time and sincere love. May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion, fellowship, and power of the Holy Spirit be with each of you!