"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Friday, June 19, 2015

What I Have Learned

It has been a little over a year since the Lord called my Dad Home to be with Him. Right after he passed, I blogged about the 7 stages of grief.

I also journaled my stages of grief and realized they didn't "line up" with what I read in that internet article. It took awhile for me to become aware of the fact that there is no cookie-cutter way to grieve; we all grieve in different ways and to different degrees.

The past year has been one long learning experience for me, and the same is probably true for many others in my family.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I learned who my true friends were during that difficult time. That was a painful thing to learn.

But on the bright side..

I  have learned to slow down and savor every moment with my loved ones. Because even though the doctors were telling us that my Dad wouldn't recover, I still believed he would. And I still believed that we would have many more years with him.

I have learned to wait. The grieving process can be a very long and slow one. And I believed people when they told me that it gets easier after the first year. It sounds crazy, but I was hoping the one-year anniversary would hurry p and get here so things would get easier! Wrong. It's a different kind of grieving, but we are all still grieving..and in some ways, it's not any easier. Especially when weeks and months go by and reality sets in: Dad is not here. I am still waiting for it to get easier.

I have learned that crying is ok. For example, people asked me why I was crying for Dad when I knew he was with the Lord. (Yes, you read that right!)  Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a season and a time for everything. Verse 4 says that there is a time to weep and a time to mourn. I wish I could have come out of my grief-fog long enough to quote those verses to those people. I wanted to say, "Just let me cry!" However, the grief was still very raw, and I was having a hard time just thinking straight.  But I have learned to never admonish someone who is crying for a lost loved one.

I have learned to listen. Sometimes one of my kids just wants to talk about my Dad and the funny things he used to say or do.  they will say, "Remember when Granddaddy used to.." So I drop everything and I listen to them as they recall those memories, knowing they are locking them away in their minds by re-telling them. And one day, they will tell their children and they, too, will know all about my Dad.

I have learned to watch....to watch my children as they grieve and be ready to help them through it. We are grieving together, but they might be grieving in a different way than I am. I am always on alert to see how they are progressing through the grieving process.

I love this graphic that I found online.
 Grief doesn't end, it just changes. And it is definitely the price of love.

Having said all that, I am so thankful that my family and I do not "sorrow as those who have no hope" (1Thessalonians 4:13). We will see Dad again, no doubt. We look forward to that day.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."  ~ John 11:25


  1. This is just so beautiful, and you are too. Love to you, sweet sister in Christ. You are a blessing to your precious children, to your mom, and to your dad's memory. I pray writing these out help you through your grief. Each time you write it is an honor to your dad and his memory, and his legacy, left through you and your siblings.. I think they do help others understand better not to judge the grief of others.

    Love to you!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, dear friend. Writing about it is therapeutic. And my desire is to help others who are grieving.
      Love to you, too!

  2. I loved reading through these feelings of yours. It has brought to the surface feelings I have had to deal with as well...and mine are mixed with joy and sadness. I lost my only sibling, my younger brother, to cancer almost 6 years ago this July. I rejoice that he too is in Heaven and I will see him again. I went through the whole "believing he would get better" and a miracle would occur ... and then the desperation and utter devastation of losing him, who also left behind a wife and small child. I felt like an only child too, which was weird. Anyway, even though my children didn't know him so well because they were so small (and we lived in Peru then) - our littlest wasn't even born - we still talk about him frequently so I feel like they know him, as do they. We even gave our littlest his name as a middle name, so that helps to carry on the beautiful memories we have of him. ... Of course your post also brought sadness to my heart as I think of my father, who is not a believer. I grieve frequently over him because I want so much for him to come to Christ before he passes from this earth. And I *do* sorrow because he has no hope. He just doesn't realize. I don't look forward to that dreaded day when I may have to deal with not only the pain of him not being around, but the pain of knowing he will not be with Jesus. ...
    ... So I continue to pray, as that is all I can do.

    1. Kristyn,
      I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. But I rejoice with you that he is with the Lord. And that you are keeping his memory alive with your children.
      I have added your Dad to our family prayer list, and we will pray earnestly for him. I have a 34-year-old cousin who is in Stage 4 of Melanoma cancer, literally fighting for his life - as the cancer has now spread to his bones and lungs. He is very, very sick. And yet, he is telling everyone that as long as he has breath, there is still hope for the Lord to heal him.
      I think that applies to your Dad...as long as he is on this earth, there IS hope! We will pray!!
      Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

    2. My brother died from Melanoma - and he was 34. It was heart-breaking. He passed before we could catch a flight back to the US, but my family tells me it is for the best because we wouldn't have recognized him, so our picture of him is still with his healthy body. I am also glad that your cousin is a believer. My brother's faith seemed to shine even more as he was dying. Sharing with my dad and even in my brother's last hours the Lord was near to him. Thank you so much for your prayers. Yes, there is hope still for my dad ... and God can melt a heart of stone.

    3. The similarities are striking, Kristyn. My cousin's faith seems to be shining brightly now, too.
      As for your Dad, remember that the Lord is "able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think"!
      He CAN melt a heart of stone...praying for that to be true in your Dad's life.


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