Bob wrote this for me after we were newly engaged. Reading back through it is comforting. If you have letters, cards, notes, or anything from your loved one, force yourself to read those through the tears. It somehow brings them back to the present.
The love remains even as we work toward healing. A myth pervades around grief that if you begin to heal, then you’ve forgotten. Those of us going through grief know how hurtful and harmful those beliefs are.
I will forever love Bob and those I’ve lost, but that doesn’t mean I want to sit in pain to prove that to the world. Working toward healing is not forgetting. It is the exact opposite. Bob and I had discussions that he wanted me and the family to be happy. He even left specific instructions for what he wanted us to do to make that happen. I am honoring his memory by working to be happy again.
Yet, grief is a roller coaster. Just as a marriage is work, grieving that spouse is work as well. Sitting in the pain of brokenness is part of the healing and working to be happy again. We never want to experience pain, but I remind myself that it’s the depth of love. The pain is relatively equal to the love. I’m thankful for the love, so I’ll wade through the pain.
It’s so interesting how the beginning of our relationship and the ending are so similar. Bob sent this card to me the year we were dating, when he was on the USS Saipan in Arlington, VA, and I was “home” in Ashland, Kentucky. It’s so my feelings now. And, yes I do feel like these are the latter years of our relationship. Relationships don’t die with the body. Our love will continue on this earth until I join him in Heaven, because I carry him. I was so lucky to have this love story!
It gives me great comfort to know that Bob and Daddy (and Granny, Grampsy, and others I have loved) are actually higher than the angels now. (We do not become angels in heaven. Angels are a separate species.)
As believers and followers of Christ, we have been elevated to a position that is far superior to the angels once we move to Heaven. At the time of salvation, we were raised and seated with the Lord Jesus in Heaven.” And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4). We are co-heirs with Christ, raised and seated with Him.
So, we see that the believer has a position of authority superior to angels. Hebrews shows one of the angel’s purposes: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are sent by God to render service to believers. This means that angels are available to us to help us when needed. God uses them in a variety of ways, and seeing how they are sent to serve and help us, shows us our importance in God’s eyes.
Dr. Billy Graham gives further support as he writes:
“The truth is, when we die and go to heaven, we become even greater than the angels! The angels are spiritual beings who were created by God to be His servants, and God has given them great authority and power to do His will. And at the present time, the angels are greater than we are, because God made us (as humans) ‘a little lower than the heavenly beings’ (Psalm 8:5).
But the Bible also says that in heaven we will be higher than the angels — and the reason is because we will be like Christ. The Bible says, ‘Do you not know that we will judge angels?’ (1 Corinthians 6:3). Although that verse may be referring to the rebellious angels who chose to follow Satan, it still implies that our status after death will be above that of the angels.”
Our loved ones are literally walking streets of gold.
During the past year and half, I stepped away from the grief blog, which focuses generally on my journey with the grief of losing that amazing man, to be intentional about remembering the love that we shared. As the depth of grief is equal to the love shared in a relationship, I hoped that being intentional and specific about focusing on the blessing of his love would be more deeply healing as I floundered in early grief. (The “Love Story” blog can be found at https://counselingtoday.com/lovestory/index.php/.)
I am happy to report that it was healing in several ways:
- The worries over forgetting parts of the journey are put to rest. Now, it is written down.
- I was able to relive memories that were there in the back of my mind, but that I hadn’t thought of in quite a while.
- My grandchildren, especially my grand-daughter, have enjoyed reading it. That was a bonus I hadn’t anticipated.
I encourage you to journal, but especially to record your own history/love story. It had been quite beneficial.