(If you read a recent post of mine, you know I recently lost a dear friend.)
Grief fills our eyes to over-flowing and places a heavy weight on our hearts. There are days when you feel like you can’t take a breath.
Out of the darkness comes a memory and a surprising smile but laughter feels like betrayal. Memories bring our loved ones close.
Isn’t that the legacy we all want to leave behind? Do you care about a monument or a building with your name on it?
I want my family and friends to remember me through shared experiences. I want them to remember the loving me, the silly me, the helper me and the taker-care me. Oh heck, I want them to remember the not-so-good me and, hopefully, I have resolved any issues.
Here’s what I’ve learned about grief:
The day after hearing the news:
John 14: 2 (NIV) In my Father’s house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you.
The day of the funeral:
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Another reading on the same day of the funeral in Our Daily Bread:
God’s purpose for today’s events may not be seen until tomorrow.
Still I struggled with the thought: What happens in the end when we die suddenly whether accident or sickness. We may not have the time to say: “Lord, forgive me – You are my Savior.”
But God – my loving God – brought me to this verse:
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.
Let me say it again! Jesus always lives to intercede for US.
The family and friends are trying to learn how to live without this precious person. A few days later, my gracious God brought me to Chapter 11 in Hebrews.
This chapter is about faith.
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses faith
Then comes Hebrews 11:13 (NIV) All these people were living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.
Our dearly departed will see God’s plan worked out in the lives of their loved ones and I think “from a distance” could mean Heaven.
Later in Hebrews 11: 39 (NIV) These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
My Dad, my long-time friend and all my departed loved ones may not be “here” to see God’s plan, but, through others their prayers and hopes and dreams will be made perfect through God’s Will.
Finding comfort in our grief is a long process. It helps knowing our loved ones are cheering us on and watching our lives unfold according to God’s promise.
On our bad days, we can grasp the Living Word and remember good times.
Yes, we will miss them and wish they were still here but through memories their presence will always be with us.
Don’t ever forget – always talk about them – share precious moments – show the next generation pictures of your loved ones.
You will perpetuate their legacy and find comfort in your grief.