We anxiously waited outside his room. He just got admitted to a new facility — hospice. Once the nurses and doctor got him situated we got to go back in ans see him. We didn’t know if he had an hour, or a day. We just knew he wouldn’t be leaving the building. We sang, prayed and cried. It was the longest week of my life and at the end of it my dad would be where he always long to be. Home. In heaven.
But what about us? What about those left behind? You see, I’m not worried about my dad anymore, I’m sure he hasn’t stopped talking and soaking in everything. He probably has the biggest place on the block after sacrificing all he was and did for the Kingdom. He’s free. And us? He was our leader, mentor, pastor, and the glue to our family… The grief sets in.
Most days the thought of him finally free is enough to get me through the day. But then I hear my kids asking where padgie is.. I have big decisions to make and I want to give him a call.. And don’t get me started on how I feel about my mom losing her team mate way too soon. It sucks. It really does. Some nights I just want to scream. People say it gets better. And in some ways it gets more bearable, we learn to function. But does it get “better?”
I’ll be the first to admit I was pretty naive about grief, I sure I still am. I had no idea that sometimes after loosing someone, dreams can be a common and frequent accurance. One week I had a dream every. single. night! About the accident, hospital, him waking… him dying… him resurrecting… another member of the family dying suddenly. It was pretty horrific and exhausting! I still dream of him. But he no longer speaks to me and he’s usually in the background. Two things are always very clear. His closed mouth smurk and big blue eyes are sparkling. He’s always happy.
Grief, a tiny word that carries a big weight. One moment you’re fine and the next you’re almost paralized with a wave of emotion. Whether that be anger, anxiety, or sadness.
I’ve learned a few things over the past 10 months. God is there in the midst of your grief. He is there in the darkness, he is there when you’re stuck in a crowd of people and you’re not sure you’ll be able to handle one more smile. He is there when you’re looking at your kids and aching for them to know their padgie. He is there.
I also know, he will be there on father’s day when my heart is re-breaking, he will be there as the facebook memories pop up from previous visits with my dad. He will also be there as the anniversary of the horrific accident comes around and memories come back like a flood. He WILL be there.
“Therefore lift your drooping hands, and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;”
I didn’t realize how hard grief would be, how consuming it can be. But I also couldn’t have fathomed the measure of grace that is given while you grieve. The days are hard, the nights are painful… but the presence of our Lord Jesus is much sweeter.