Last week my daughter Evelyn wondered if we could stop by the grave site of my grandmother, her namesake. I was pleased to oblige her so straight to the store for cheap colorful carnations.
At the gravestone for Leo Llyod and Evelyn Mae Van De Walker Cole put his bright blue flowers down, Evy's pink carnations we gently place over Grandma Evelyn's name, Nora laid her yellow ones down, and Jesse threw his green flowers on the grave. We then stood quietly for awhile when I started to cry and Evy asked me if I was sad. I said yes and that I missed my grandparents very very much. She said she was sad too. We stayed for a few short moments then packed up in the van and went home.
There has been much loss in my life over the years. Loss of children, loss of grandparents, loss of friends, and loss of relationships. With each loss I suffered in varying degrees.
Some were sad, but I expected it to happen, like with my grandparents.
Others were unexpected and terribly tragic and I felt sorrow like never before. I actually felt part of me die, as in the loss of my children.
Then there were losses that were inevitable. I realized someone was moving or that a relationship wasn't going to work. However, inevitability of the end doesn't make the end any easier. There have been times when a relationship has ended and I thought I would never get out of bed and the depth of the sorrow was almost debilitating. The everyday missing of the person with everyday habits and gifts and memories that seem relentlessly never ending.
But with each loss grief is kind in that it has a pattern. The grief cloud WILL eventually give way to a glimpse of sun. The Lord may seem silent, but He has always taken me safely through.
All this to say, for those of you fearful for the holidays and the sorrow and sadness it brings. I will be praying for you.
Sometimes the spark of faith is slight
And does not make the darkness bright.
But keep it lit and you will find:
Far better this than being blind.
One little flame when all is night,
Proves there is such a thing as Light.
Remember now the place and price
Where Jesus promised paradise.
One answered prayer when all is gone,
Will give you hope to wait for dawn.
'Misery of Job and the Mercy of God' by John Piper