To all my children: Well, here we are…..1 year later and a memory that will forever be etched on our hearts. I know it’s affected all of us in many ways…
My entire life I have spent in raising you kids, helping your dad in many ways, loving God and the church. Even though it still feels like my best half is gone, I treasure the more than 50 years we had together, and it wasn’t in things, it was each other. There were many days after losing your father, I felt paralyzed and cried so much you would think I had no more tears, but sure enough the very next day, wouldn’t you know, they showed up again. Then I could occasionally skip days, maybe a week would go by. I have learned to do more things in a year without him than I could ever have imagined! And you have too! I have no doubt that he would be over the top proud of all of you in every way, and so am I.
I have learned to stop and take time with people to just slow down. To be more compassionate and less judgmental. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Everyone has a story, and I want to take the time to listen to them.
They say: “Grief is the price we pay for love” And I believe that. “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us,” Helen Keller. The day your father left this world you and I became a part of his legacy. And you will all continue it after I’m gone. Grieving is a necessary passage and a difficult transition to finally letting go of sorrow—it’s not a permanent rest stop. I know for me I have recently completely surrendered this grief and pain and given it all to God. There are so many others that have it far worse than any of us. We have much for which to be grateful. I Believe because of my surrender the pain has shifted, and I’m not stuck there as I was so many times. NO, it didn’t happen overnight, but it has happened…. There is a peace to move on.
And besides that, I can just hear your father say “Letting go sounds easy, but as human beings it’s probably one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. It takes an immense amount of courage to be able to say goodbye to something or someone who meant a lot to you. BUT, my love, you can’t keep holding on to things that make you sad. If you do, the misery will build up in your heart and start running through your veins until it consumes you. Don’t let that happen! Have the strength to say goodbye to who or what you used to love.
That’s how you get the peace and contentment! I know this is what your father would want for all of us. Moving on with JOY.
Psalm 30:5……….I’m sad of course, but I have JOY!! (This scripture has made a comeback in our lives again.)
2 Cor. 4:16-18 MSG.
So, we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times; the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
I believe Your father, is in Heaven today, and he is beyond Happy. And that’s what he would want for us here to have joy and happiness. I know this is not the story we would have chosen, but I do believe God has every intention to bring some good out of this painful time in our lives. (Rom. 8:28) We must continue to spend time with him and trust him for the outcome. We are a TEAM, and we stick together for the same purpose. Love God and others. Remember this earth is NOT our final resting place…. We’re all just trying to walk each other toward HOME. (From the movie: Same Kind of Different as Me) Let’s all plan to make sure we’re all at the Big House someday!