“It’s okay.” I tell myself often. I don’t have to, or need to, hurry grief along. I’ve heard people say, “I just want this grieving to stop.” Why try to rush it along? That’s okay for them. But I prefer to be patient with my grief. Yes, I do want the ache in my heart to heal. Yes, I want to grieve in a healthy way. My breaking heart tells me I’ve lost four precious people that I love so very much. Grieving allows me to ponder the beautiful lives I have loved and lost. Grieving is healing. I’m going to take it slow.
I think of what our dear Rhonda lost. Her brother; her niece and nephew; and a sister-in-law. Her brother, Russell. She could count on him to be there for her; day or night. He made her laugh and loved to play jokes on her.
Rhonda was so excited when she learned she was going to be an Aunt. The night Tylee was born she had to work. It was December 23 and she was so happy about Christmas and couldn’t wait to see Tylee. Larry and I were already at the hospital when Rhonda called me and said she was off work. I told her I would bring her to see Tylee the next day. About 45 minutes went by and the door to Shawna’s room opened and there was my Rhonda. She decided to take the bus and come. My heart was overjoyed! And the look on Russell’s face was pure happiness. He smiled at her and said, “How did you get here?!” And he gave her a hug.
Then Rhonda got good news almost 4 years later. She was going to be an Aunt again. Blake arrived April 12th, and Rhonda was so excited. She would call me and “rub it in my face” that Russell and Shawna asked her to babysit and not me!
And then there was Shawna. Rhonda loved her and welcomed her into our family with all her heart. Rhonda would say, “Finally! I have a sister!” When Shawna asked her to be one of her brides’ maids, Rhonda said she was so happy she asked her.
Such great loss depletes the heart. A heart this broken must take its time to heal. There isn’t any right or wrong way to grieve and heal. There isn’t only one way this needs to be done.
I will grieve in many different ways. Even when the worst of it is over, I will still experience grief bursts and will do what I need to do to get through it.
Sometimes I’ll want to be with friends. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. Other times, staying busy helps and still other times I’ll want to sit and do nothing.
I’ve also learned that it’s important to let others know what I need or don’t need at these times. And even though it could be difficult, I need to tell them how best they can help.
I find this hard sometimes because I’m afraid of hurting their feelings or offending them. Its best to be honest.
This was true for me. When they died June, August came too fast. People at work told me to take all the time I needed. I went back and worked my regular 30 hours a week. When Christmas break rolled around, I had decided I couldn’t do full days. But I also knew that having a reason to have to get up every morning was a healthy thing. So, I decided to cut my hours back after we returned from break. I had to let the people I work with know how I was doing and what I needed. They were extremely supportive.
The thought of my suffering is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this; The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, those who search for Him.
So, it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
Lamentations 3:14-27 (NLT)