Wednesday, February 13, 2019

My Path of Grief

Grief is a funny thing.  It happens when you lose someone or something.  You should know that I am no stranger to grief.  My mother passed away when I was 10 years old.  I don’t believe that I was overly spiritual or religious at this age.  I went to church.  I understood the message of the Gospel.  I knew the Bible stories.  When people told me to read the Bible, I would read the parts that appealed to me, like the Psalms.  I remember sitting by myself and understanding that my life as I knew it would never be the same again.  I remembered Psalm 27.  I had a Good News Bible that my father had given me.  The verse that I leaned on was, “My father and mother may abandon me, but the Lord will take care of me.”(27:10) I know that my mother didn’t deliberately abandon me but this is what I felt.  I felt abandoned nonetheless.  But regardless of these feelings of abandonment, I knew that it would be okay because God will take care of me. This is what I needed to hear.  They talk about the blind faith of children.  It was this blind faith that lead me out of that dark time.  I asked God to take care of me and He did.  How could I not trust him for everything else?

Having had one parent die.  I looked at my father.  At first, I believed that I would not survive another death of someone close to me.  I became convinced that I would have a short life.  At some point, I realized that the natural order of things would be that parents should die before their children.  I looked at my father.  He was an older dad.  I came into his life while he was in his mid-forties.  I knew that he would leave me within my life.  I wasn’t wrong.  I went to work one day and then I got a call from my husband that my father had passed away.  I remember riding the subway and wanting to break down and not being able to.  I stayed with Joanne, my childhood best friend (she’s the one with the blackmail stories).  Again, I leaned on God.  He took care of me before, He would take care of me again.  Even though I was 26 years old, I still felt like an orphan in this world.  I’m thankful to my husband who let me lean on him and we went through that death together. 

Now, here I am.  I’m 46 years old.  My husband has died.  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  My mother would have been only 76 years old.  It was the day that she was born.  My father left February 24th to go home.  If you do the math, you will find that my mother’s birthday, the day of the year dedicated to love and my father’s death day are 10 days apart.  My husband’s death day is 20 days from Valentine ’s Day.  No, there is no pattern.  I just find it interesting. 

There is no doubt that God would take care of me.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that my family is in a better place.  Yes, I miss my husband but I rest in the knowledge that I’ll see him again, after my time is done.  But for now, there is work to do still.  God is not done with me here.  This world is a war of souls and I am but a soldier constantly waiting for orders.  I don’t know what people expect of widows.  I think that people are surprised that I’m not more… broken.  Last year when I was going through the worst of it, I covered myself with God like a blanket.  I couldn’t see anyone but Him.  I brought my children under that blanket with me.  I told them my truth, God would take care of us.  God would always take care of them.  My sweet children didn’t even think to question my wisdom.  They believed me with that childlike faith.  When I would forget or get lost in the What Ifs and If Onlys, I need only look at them to see that I had to believe like they believed. 

I have been called strong.  I laugh. I’m not strong.  I have a small group of friends that I heavily lean on, God bless them.  And they let me.  I constantly thank God for them.  They help me process my thoughts and they have seen me blistered and broken.  It will be a year sooner than I liked to think.  I think that the year marks something that I may not be ready for.  It feels like it’s time to pack up things and put them away in the recesses of my mind.  Maybe it’s time and maybe it’s not.  I’m playing it all by ear.  Until then, I’ll let God take care of me.

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