Lately your favorite bible verse has been on my mind.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
Today I am allowing myself A time to Weep as I acknowledge how much I miss you. I cannot believe it has been 3 years (today) since your passing. I still expect to see you sitting in your chair in your apartment and to hear you whistle coming in the door.
Today is also a time to Laugh as I remember all of the jig dances you’d do and pretend you didn’t know we were watching. I laugh remembering how you’d tease mom almost every day until she’d yell at you to “shut up” then you’d laugh and say “ah you said it!” I laugh remembering how excited you were to find out you were going to be a grandfather and declaring you had to have an original name that no one had ever been called before. When you came up with “One-Pop” it sounded so bizarre but now it sounds so normal 🙂
Today I am having a time to heal as I remind myself and everyone else who has lost a love one that it is ok to be happy and have a great life. That constant sorrow and grief do not honor them. But focusing on happy memories and creating new ones is what they want for us. I know at times it seems like to be happy without them is a form or betrayal. But that is not the case. That is an example of how feelings are sometimes just feelings and do not reflect reality. Reality is that they want you to be happy and have a joy filled life.
Today I experience a time to Love. While I cannot say any good came from your death. I can say that one thing that I have learned is that Love truly can be unconditional. I still feel how much you love me as though you were still here. I feel it every day. It has not decreased in any way. I feel comforted by it always.
Today, sadly is also a time to Hate. What I hate is Cancer! I still have a hard time even saying that word. I think of it as a curse “the C word” is what I say in my mind. Since it took you from us it has also taken one of my oldest friend’s mom, another’s grandma, and one of my book club friends. It is currently attacking one of my college friend’s mom. It even came after Hurt but God blessed him with a healing and he is still with us. I hate it and pray for a cure.
Today is a time to Sow and Plant. This letter I write you is posted on my blog. This blog has helped me to not get stuck in grief and mourning. I don’t think you knew years ago that sharing the short story you wrote about the true meaning of Christmas, as learned by a family experiencing a fire during the holiday, would inspire me to become a writer. Well it did 🙂 I write about gratitude, trying new things, personal growth, health and happiness. On my blog I plant and sow seeds of Joy to be harvested by myself and any readers who can relate.
Lastly today is a time of Peace. Growing up attending Seventh Day Adventist Church and School I had the belief that when a person died their soul remained at rest until judgment day. But after your passing I keep thinking of the scripture that says something like “to be absent with the body is to be present with God”. I am greatly comforted by the idea of you as an Angel. Someone close to me dreamed of you flapping your Angel Wings. I can imagine you in heaven running track with Jessie Owens and listening to Whitney sing. For a while I really wondered where you were, meaning your spirit. But I’m not going to wonder anymore. Instead I’ll allow myself to find comfort in any thoughts of you that make me smile. I remind myself that I don’t have to know every about the afterlife. I find peace in knowing that if I have the faith of a mustard seed, God will take care of the rest, and that I will see you again.
Dad, I miss you greatly but I am well because I promised you I would be. I feel your love and know you would be proud of me.
Chasing Joy does not mean pretending bad and painful things don’t happen. There is a time for every emotion even the bad ones. How do you experience but not become overwhelmed with grief after losing a loved one?