Grief and Loss

Finding Words

So, I have stated that I am starting to write again.  And I am.

I just didn’t realize how challenging it would be to find something in my writing that I feel courageous enough to publish in a blog.

My heart is tender right now.  Grief is a strange companion… an awful guest.  Unpredictable, uncooperative, inconvenient, fickle… and overwhelming.  Some things seem like they should matter more, while things that seem trivial suddenly feel like life or death matters.  I find I am asking, is this wise right now, way more often… feeing foolish more than I enjoy.  And yet…

I think one of the hardest realities is how alone in grieving I am.  Of course, others loved her, and even knew her better than I did.  But when you love someone who lived an ocean a way, and those who loved her with you are scattered around the globe, it is incredibly lonely to feel the loss in her passing without their present company.

People in my community didn’t know her.  They didn’t have the opportunity to experience her laughter, wisdom, gentleness, wonder at life… to witness her joy in my children and delight in me.  They weren’t part of our email conversations or skype calls… they don’t feel the same loss I do.

That is sometimes a suffocating reality and deep relief simultaneously.

Because I can hide.  And sometimes I need to hide, because well meaning words easily become unintentional weapons.

I am surrounded by people I consider to be some of the best of the best.  A community of leaders, giving, generous, intelligent, compassionate and passionate people.  A Holy Spirit-filled community, where we believe in miracles and will take the words written in our Bibles to the bank every time.  I’ve witnessed physical healing happen before my eyes.  I’ve watched as lives are miraculously transformed through the passion and faith of these people, even my own.  I know people who have been healed of cancer, miraculously in ways that left doctors scratching their heads, and through modern medicines.  I am a full believer, completely bought in, a grateful member of this incredible community.

But there are days when someone’s enthusiastic faith cuts me through my heart.

It’s no one’s fault.  I don’t think there’s anything that can be done or said differently.

It’s just that my faith didn’t work in the way that I wanted it to.  It didn’t bring the same outcome in my life that it has in others. And sometimes, some of the things we say so passionately don’t take into account the moments in life when faith isn’t enough.  When exuberant faith is out of place, like a ball gown in the potato fields.

Sometimes the words meant to comfort, inspire and encourage leave me raw and exposed, questioning fundamental beliefs that used to be enough… but now… they just don’t fit.

The one thing I cling to is that regardless of what my faith or anyone else’s faith, or lack thereof, accomplishes; God is good.

God is good.

I don’t know why my faith didn’t work.  I am filled with Holy Spirit, and I didn’t see this coming.  I cannot buy that it was simply her time.

God is good.

I don’t know why I wasn’t given more time with her.  Why didn’t I make more of the time I was given?

God is good.

Death is an excruciating loss that cannot be easily explained with a Good God all sovereign and in control sitting on the throne… Death is loss.  It’s terrible, even if it is part of life.  When it’s not metaphorical it’s a putrid part of life, at best.   The idea of her being in a better place, no longer suffering, is wonderful.  But it doesn’t ease the emptiness of her absence in my life.   And wanting her back in no way indicates I want her suffering here.  I wanted her healed.  Instead I lost her…

Life going on after death isn’t beautiful.  Its horribly empty, and fragile and exposing. Living on after loosing her has thrust me into an involuntary vulnerability… and if there is beauty it is a miracle, not a result of her death being part of life.

And, sometimes God is silent because there aren’t any words that can be said.  Because death is a curse, a horrible awful thief of a curse that robs us of experiencing life with the ones we love and loose to it on this earth.  God isn’t finished yet – death still has a sting.  And when God has finished what He started and we are all together again – then death will no longer sting… but in this life, death is still a curse we can’t escape.  And hope is awesome, but it doesn’t replace the absent person.

And God knows this… He’s sensitive to this.  He isn’t requiring my faith, or even my hope, to bolster me into a positive attitude about something horribly excruciating.

He is simply here…

Because HE is GOOD.

annika-in-the-light

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