My Forever Changed World

Our world wasn’t just changed. It was ripped apart and torn into unrecognizable pieces that would never resemble what we had just a few short weeks ago.

Because we lost four members of our family all at once and in a way, that was so horrific, it caused a deeper depth of confusion, anxiety and shock to our grieving. We didn’t have only one person to grieve over and process this sudden death. We had four deaths to process through and ponder the unspeakable horror of how we lost each of them.

It has changed us like nothing else could. My identity completely changed.  I lost my identity as a mother of a son, whom I adored and loved with all my heart. I am no longer a mother-in-law to the sweetest daughter-in-law, whom I loved and admired as a wife and mother. I am no longer a grandmother to the most energetic, full-of-life and happy little granddaughter. And, I am no longer a grandmother to the most darling, happy and inquisitive little grandson. I will never be a great-grandma.

I started making a list of what I lost with each one of them. Underneath each of their names I wrote the qualities I loved about them. I listed their personalities and what made them special to me. I wrote what I loved doing with each of them when we were together. I wrote about how each of them could make me laugh. I wrote my dearest memories I had of each of them.  I’m still writing that list. As painful as it was and is to do, it helped me with the grieving process because I had to recognize and accept all that was lost to me. I had to come to the realization that no one and nothing would ever replace that. Each item underneath each name had to be mourned over. Before I started writing this down I was trying to work it all out in my mind. But it caused me such turmoil because my thoughts got all jumbled up. This exercise helped to quiet the chaotic and confusing thoughts running around, uncontrolled in my mind. It was too much to comprehend without taking time to write it all down, ponder each one and mourn the death of each item on my list. 

I would never have any of it back in my life. This is a daunting and frightening process to go through. And it will never come to an end when I’ll be able to “sign-off”, or check the “I got it done” box. I’ll never finish the last page, close my journal and set it on a shelf.

But with God’s help, I will get through this.

“For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop. By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord: And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer and sets me on my high places…. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation: Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip…For You have armed me with strength for the battle…. The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted…. Therefore, I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles. And sing praises to Your name. Great deliverance He gives to me (italics mine), and shows mercy to His anointed.” (Psalm 18 NLT)