"....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