Friday, February 20, 2015

Blessings in the Grief


I hit the floor running this morning. The alarm went off a little after 5am and I flew down the stairs.
I’m anxious to put the lid on this really crummy week.
Pain. Grief. Tears. Mourning the loss of not just a family member, but my favorite uncle. The one who loved to laugh and make others laugh, too. The one who lived and loved with his whole heart. The handsome one who adored his beautiful bride after 50+ years and breathed his last while holding her hand. He was the one who always took the back roads in bouncy jeeps and trucks and each path led through tall pines with a lake at the end and there would be fishing and memories made for tomorrow.

I get a pot of strong coffee going and head to my box of L'oreal, medium brown. I can’t let people I haven’t seen in 20-30 years know about all this gray eager to make a statement – one that says, “Hey! Yeah, the years have been good and I’m blessed an’ all but the rough patches have been deep and wide and I have all this gray and wrinkles to prove it.”

The sink is full of yesterday’s dishes.
The dogs have tracked in remnants of an untidy back yard and there’s a little something dear daughter tracked in from the chicken coop now smeared across my floor and it’s all screaming at me…but the clock.
Time ticks on and I’m 15 minutes away from being a secretary again and answering phones and smiling and folding papers.
But it’s the day we've been dreading and we have to pack and leave for this sad and final good-by trip.

Then the phone call – the one needing a few minutes of my time and signature and needing it today.
And where in the world are my keys?
And the clock ticks forward.
And I’m late.
And it all burns inside.
This hurry. This stress. The pain of this wife without a husband and grown children still needing their father and I can’t believe he’s really gone. I heard there will be bag pipers churning out Amazing Grace for the believers and the non and white doves released as if chasing him toward Heaven.
And the voice on the phone wants an answer and wants it now…
            and my tears come.
It’s too much. I bubble over in frustration and hand the phone to my husband…
            and breathe.


From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Yet in the middle of the grief, the condolences, the memories with their fuzzy edges and the tear-stained photos in black and white, the blessings emerge.
They show themselves in the reuniting of family and friends. Relationships rediscovered that never really died. There are blessings as we strengthen, love and encourage one another and whether the believer or the non... 
              all glory to God.



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