June 25, 2018
I visited a dear friend in the hospital last week. It was one of those warm visits where you appreciate every word and are glad for the friendship as well as the spirit of the person. She was dealing with the last stages of cancer, and on my way home, I prayed that the Lord would take her home quickly. The next day I received word that she was gone.
Every time I think of her, I remember a special smile and a positive attitude. In addition to deep faith, she had a real community attitude and contributed much to the lives of her family and of everyone around her. From her church to the Rosebud Cattlewomen and many other groups, she was hard working and instrumental in outreach and success.
Of course, I miss her and feel she died too young, even if mid 70's is a good, long life. But I go back to Rabbi Harold Kuchner’s thoughts in “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” What he said is that life is like a tapestry, where we see only the back – the loose threads, the knots, the obscure picture – and God sees the finished side. We do not know His plan, only that He is in charge and that we need to trust in Him.
I rejoice in faith that enables us to rejoice with loved ones who are in Heaven and at peace at the same time that we celebrate their lives here on earth. Pictures are a major way to enhance that celebration, for in pictures someone like my friend is young, eager, smiling and enjoying life.
When our son died, pictures became a way of celebration and of healing. My daughter’s children each have a collage of pictures of Uncle Josh, and every time I am in their rooms I find myself chuckling over the fun pictures and treasuring all of them. Josh again comes alive in those pictures and my memories.
I know that among my readers are people missing loved ones. May God surround you with His love, His assurance of Heaven, and warm memories to wrap around yourselves like a comfort quilt.
I just want to continue to share ideas about grief and life with people who long as I do for comfort and understanding.