Today’s my dad’s birthday. He’s 86 years old today, but his last five birthdays have been in heaven. I miss him.
Although I have experienced many losses over the course of my life, I find grief and the grieving process to be a curious thing.
I can’t speak for anyone else, just myself, but the emotional process of grieving is so complex.
For Christmas this year, I received a digital photo frame, and the for the past month I have been uploading volumes of photos onto my frame. I love this frame! It sits on my desk, and I frequently find myself taking in the photos and reliving memories of times gone by, recent and distant.
But I noticed something. When photos of my dad pop up on the screen, I can look at them now. I honestly thought something was wrong with me because I have been unable to gaze at his pictures since his homegoing. The thought even crossed my mind perhaps it was because I didn’t care (which I KNOW is not true), but it finally occurred to me that the pain was too great. Looking away was a form of self protection.
It’s probably not like this for everyone, maybe not anyone else but me, and that’s okay. But I am celebrating today that during this grieving process I have come to the place that my heart can withstand going to that place. The tears fall, of course, but I am thankful for the progress.
Dad loved Jesus with all his heart. He was loyal, kind, generous, and humble. He had a servant’s heart. He taught us well and left behind a legacy of children who love God and love others. I am immensely thankful for his life and the impact he had on my life and so many others.
I have many more thoughts on grief. That’s why this post is titled “Part 1” because there may be more to follow. I don’t have it figured out, but I’m going to process some of this aloud in case it will benefit anyone else in some way.
One thing I know for sure is that it is possible to experience deep grief and immense joy simultaneously. One doesn’t negate the other one, but they can exist together. One of the definitions of grief is “deep sorrow.” As I have walked through the grief of many significant losses in my life, I have also experienced much joy in the process. The joy doesn’t dissipate the grief, and the grief doesn’t steal the joy, at least for me. For that I am extremely thankful.
This is my experience, and as many people are on planet earth, there are probably just as many different ways of walking through grief. Like I said, I’m just going to process aloud in case it might validate what one of you might be feeling.
I can think of so many of my family and friends that have or are currently walking through grief, and to you, I say I’m so sorry for your loss. I ask God to comfort you and release His ministering angels to attend to you. I don’t want you to feel alone in your grief. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to me. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m a very good listener, and I’d love to pray with you!