I feel astounded this morning to think that a year (a year!!) has passed since you left us — or maybe better said, “Since you went home.” How you are missed. We still laugh and love and enjoy one another, but with every laughing spell the thought surfaces “Becky would’ve loved this!” You are missed and I’ve come to understand that the missing will always be. Our lives were so knit together that even when healing comes the place of mending will be obvious. There will ever be a scar on this family that will call us back to a time of wholeness when you walked with us.
As time progressed bringing us to this day I’ve pondered how this year has tutored me. I’ve learned so much and some of that is so enmeshed in me that I’m not able to articulate it. I’m changed in the fabric of my being by losing you. I now know that grief isn’t simple. Grief grows out of relationship and is as varied and complex and primal as our human relations. Grief doesn’t go away. It goes deep so that I no longer trip on it every day, but it is a new foundation to my life. It will surface and submerge and surface again. Friends on this journey for decades tell me they still have days of fresh grief.
I’ve learned the one thing that helps with my grief is relationship. This is a multi-colored and diverse help. Keeping my face turned toward the Lord and positioning myself to receive comfort, encouragement, and continued learning has kept me from despair. I know Him now in ways I’d never known Him before. Your Dad has been a rock through this time. That doesn’t mean he isn’t grieving or that he doesn’t cry, it simply means he is there. We talk about our grief, we cry together, we let each other cry and grieve when it comes. We’ve not tried to force healing or push each other to places we are not yet ready to go. We’ve each grieved in the way our individual grief has come and it has been good. I thank God everyday for this man from whom you came – how I love him! Kristin and Joni have been a blessing in this season too. They’ve grieved differently from me and differently from each other. We’ve danced back and forth with each other, listening, praying, watching and waiting for the Lord in the midst of this tough time. Jacob and the girls have been a huge part of my grieving process. Getting to be with them nearly every day, watching, helping, praying – what a blessing it has been and what peace it has brought me even when I’ve seen struggles because of losing you. Our families have been wonderful – loving and watching and sending love and gentle comments at just the right time. And of course, friends — intimate friends, distant friends, acquaintances all have been sensitive to our hurt and need. The Lord has manifested Himself in His people and loved on us through the words and hugs of our friends at church.
I’ve been surprised to find that I’ve not had to go underground with my grief. I don’t need to stuff it and no one has rebuked me for expressing it. People understand. What a blessing! Because of this I’ve learned to be more open with what I feel than I’ve been in the past. I’ve also learned to let others experience what they are experiencing. God can deal with our sorrow and hurt and anger and pain – we don’t have to somehow always put on a happy face and smile to glorify Him. He is glorified in the honest expressions of our hearts turned toward Him. I love Psalms and I love Job and all of the honest weepers of the Bible. There is no emotion common to man that has been left out of the Bible. What a comfort!
The last thing I’ve learned is the amazing impact of one well-lived life. I’m not blind to who you are or to the shortcomings of your life. We all have them and you did to. But that said the positive impact you had on others just by being you continually astounds me. Losing you reverberated into so many lives and hearing people speak of the impact of the loss is like a time machine that allows me to see the impact of you alive. You lived in a way that touched others. This encourages me to do the same.
I love you. I would take you back in a minute, but I suspect you are in a place now where coming back doesn’t even appeal. Instead I imagine you waiting for us and looking forward to the day of reunion. You will be present with us today as we are together remembering you – calling you back to us through stories and pictures and memories.
See You Soon! Mom
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6