May 30, 2018
Laptop repairs have kept me from making this blog entry on time – my apologies, but I guess we all know what the world of technology is like. My thoughts were related to Memorial Day, made even more poignant with being just days away from a meaningful program for church members in the little town of Dillon in southwestern Montana.
I do programs based on my book, offering ideas for healing darkness – in various forms of sadness, grief, or depression. After this program, I had some special time with a wonderful young woman who had just lost her brother and was dealing with fresh grief. Like my daughter at the time our son died, this woman was seeing the despair of her parents who lost a child but also knowing that losing a sibling is painful, too. Meaningful literature on this subject points out that parents can remember a life before the child they have lost but that siblings often have no life experience that doesn’t include the brother or sister.
My brother, my husband and I were decorating graves on Monday and noting the variations of ages – our father who was 97, our niece who was 27, a baby cousin who only lived a few days, and every age in between. We are reminded that God’s heaven is open to all who believe, no matter what age or what story is connected with death. Sometimes we are plunged into grief in a single day, as happened with our son killed in a car accident, and sometimes families go through years knowing that death threatens a loved one. A dear friend of us talked of dealing with grief with their daughter for 8 years before her death because the cancer could never actually be removed, just held at bay.
On this beautiful Memorial Day, with sunshine illuminating the white stones for the military heroes and shining on the beautiful flowers on a variety of graves for loved ones of all ages, we are reminded that the power of God stays with us. Death becomes a conduit to eternal life, and our feelings of grief become a reminder that we have loved and delighted in others.