This is so important to remember as I move into the holiday season. That empty space beside me as I go about the business of my days feels even bigger now during the happiest time of the year.
I have always loved Christmas and still do, because it does celebrate Christ (the reason that I get to see him again). Although the child in me will always feel that “it’s not fair” that he’s not here with me, I will keep him in my heart and remember that he is celebrating with Jesus every day, not just on Christmas.
As I go through the holidays, this is my new mantra. People honestly do try to understand, but they just can’t. I thought I understood deep loss until I actually went through the loss of my amazing husband and Daddy within ten months. So, I will try to remember to give grace to those who may say something really ridiculous. They really do mean well. And, I truly mean it when I say that I’m happy that people can’t understand. It means that they haven’t experienced pain at this level, and that’s a good thing.
As I’m trying to remember that people can’t really understand a stage of life until they’re in it, I’m also trying to remember the humor in these kinds of things.
Grief never ends… but it changes. In the days and weeks right after Bob moved to heaven, I worried that I would always be in that much pain. But, over time (and intentional effort toward healing), I have found some relief. And, now, I have more good days than bad, more good moments than bad.
Grief is simply the price of love. The depth of love is in direct balance to the depth of grief. I say all the time that I didn’t lose Bob. I know exactly where he is. He’s walking on streets of gold with Jesus. Yet, that faith – that knowledge – doesn’t make me miss him less.
Happiness is balance in all of life, but it is especially true when we go through valleys. We get so worried about finding the “old” me that we end up missing happiness altogether. We won’t find the old me. Just as our loved ones changed our lives when they came into them, they have changed our lives going out as well. But, we can intentionally take baby steps toward happiness and contentment.
Stop waiting for that moment of the same happiness you had with them and enjoy whatever little fragments of happiness you can find.It may be rainy nights spent curled under blankets with a good book. It may be licking cookie dough off your fingers. It may be spending time with those going through the same grief journey. It’s the little moments. It’s the baby steps that lead to bigger steps.
It is so easy to let ourselves fret over the days, months and years without them – the “what if’s”. But, that’s the future. We can’t control today, much less the future. Remaining in the present/Focusing on the next, right step is our connection back to wholeness. We remain in the past, because that’s where they are. But, they are also here in the present – in our love, in our memories. Bring them forward with you as you focus on that next step, not the whole staircase.