Friends, many of you know what I am talking about because you have experienced or are experiencing the same thing…. loss. We don’t talk about what’s going on inside sometimes, but have the hardship of not even being able to share memories of a loved one or a friend because the other friends and family that would understand are gone too.
Of what is commonly called the immediate family, mine started off with 6, of which 3 are gone… Mom, Dad, and my baby brother (killed at 37). My grandparents are gone. It would be a long list to name all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who have passed.
At 15, we gained a foster brother to our immediate family. He moved away so long we are strangers. At 18, my son came along, and praise the Lord he is just fine. Our brother-in-law came to our family. He’s in hospice care. In 91 we lost a cousin whose death effected every person in the family.
Then the Lord blessed our family with a season of more gain than loss to our family… more cousins, uncles, family friends, and even family pets. Now Death still visited… but I was different. My relationship with Christ was stronger. There was no fear in death, no sorrowing with no hope, no wishing someone back to this wretched earth knowing they had gained better… peace.
Then I lost my Dad, several close aunts and cousins, my baby brother, close coworkers and friends, boyfriends, too many dear children, church family, my mom, and a dear friend who was like a sister, and a woman I called Ma. The world tells me a large number of deaths couldn’t be meaningful. That world told my loved ones they were a burden, so we watched the horror in their eyes as they tried to be brave. It is so common we say, Who’s next? Then the one joking joins the ones we grieved over together.
Now I am not one to dwell. I hate that because it does no good. I walk with God, ready (mentally prepared) for the next one. But I share this as I am doing these aspects because it is hard NOT to think of others with birthdays no longer to celebrate, missing faces at family events and holidays, and when ones who knew inside jokes are gone too.
SO what do I do now? I hang onto the ones who ARE still here. I hang onto my faith and the hand of my Lord and Savior. I live. I breathe. I do whatever the Lord gives me. But I do mourn. I do grieve. I thank God for the generous abundance He gives me in loving friends and church family. The Lord uses them greatly in my life.
Each day belongs to the Lord… in all of our lives. We are not the Author, and we are not the Finisher. But there is that sweet consolation of knowing one day we will no longer die, grieve, or miss our loved ones. I long for that day.