Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter week starts with Palm Sunday ("Everything is going great!") and then suddenly, we're headlong into concentrating on His suffering and excruciating death…BUT... we end with the joy of His being risen back to Life. Such has been my grief journey over the last 30 years.
In the very beginning of my journey, there was only pain; constant suffering and death surrounding me 24-7. I did believe my family went to be with Jesus in Paradise, yet I clung to the only reality of them that I could actually "feel"-the pain of their absence. Their sudden departure-the ripping away of my very flesh--even having them "back" through painful memories, was better than not "having" them with me at all…
Yesterday, I experienced a rerun of of that initial, intensely sick feeling of wanting my children physically back, but knowing it cannot be during my lifetime. I was tired, which always makes grief worse… During that time, I was taken back to the old days-of the reality/unreality of their physical deaths-that almost smothering feeling- of unrelenting heaviness. I quickly told myself not to go there. I've done my "processing" work, so this was just taking a walk on the wild side!
The difference between "then" and "now", is the fact that now I have a new reality to change my thinking to... the reality that they are more alive than I am! It dawned on me, that this verse:
"Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow…"(Job 17:7 ASV) can also mean the inability to see beyond sorrow, which implies an emotional rut- a stagnancy...
I refocused on the reality of the vibrant life they now lead. Disaster averted.
On my walk to church this morning, I passed by some flowers that were in varying stages of growth. I thought the "bud" form was truly just as beautiful as the full blown bloom. It dawned on me, that my little Lisa was like a rosebud that had gone straight to Heaven. Still full of potential and everything necessary to fully bloom. I would have been completely incapable of thinking such a thought as this, early on in my grief. I couldn't see "life" back then. I saw absence. I didn't realize then, that they are closer to me now than before, when physically alive. Dying plant matter, enriches the soil. My children's deaths... have greatly fed, nourished and enriched my soul...
Early on, I struggled with, "Why?" (did that 10 ton truck have to be right there at that intersection- in the least populated state of all the states?) During the church service today, we read that while on the cross, Jesus asked the Father why He had forsaken Him, and for the first time, I realized in a different way, that, when suffering, even Jesus asked the question "Why?"
Lastly, walking home from church, I realized another significant difference between then and now. Now I realize that my children may be (temporarily) physically dead-yet they are vibrantly alive Spiritually…while I am by comparison…Spiritually dead... and merely physically alive. Who's really alive?
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