I have just been reminded once again that as hard as I have tried to encourage friends and family to find joy in this holiday season, so many just cannot due to the pain that they are feeling and how much it hurts on the inside. I do understand, more than you know.
Whatever your beliefs may be, whether it is in God, Heaven, the other side, through the veil, etc., I simply ask that you please continue reading through parts that you may not understand or even want to hear. Please sift through all of that to hear the real meaning and message behind these words as it is all about love. Even if my beliefs are not that of your own, please stay with me as we do share something in common – hearts that are shattered after losing someone we love. If you’re not sure what you believe at this point and just need words of comfort, to know that someone else can relate to what you are going through, I hope my words here will be of some comfort to you.
Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday. My chest becomes heavy, my throat constricted, as I choke back tears. I close my eyes and pause for a silent moment. Then begin again. She should be here with me so we can celebrate together like we used to do. Sadly, she is not here physically with me any longer, and a lot of people think that because it has been 12 years that it should not bother me so much. Ah, but, it gets me every year.
Please know that I DO understand, dear ones. Whether you have just lost a loved one, or whether it has been 40 years since their passing. Your life was forever changed. I know this is of little comfort, but it is because of the tremendous love that you have, the bond that you shared with this person, that you feel as hurt as you do still to this very day. Your love was so tremendously great, and now the hurt is crippling as you are grieving for the loss of your precious loved one.
I understand about loss.
We lost my grandmother in March of this year. She suffered for two years. I mean she really suffered. It was hard to watch this once strong woman that could take on the world become so weak and frail with each passing day. My heart hurts, and tears sting my eyes as I remember seeing her laying in her hospital bed. It hurts. My grandmother did not deserve to suffer the way she did. She did not deserve to die in this fashion. Yet, that was part of her walk here on this earth. She became weary and begged God to take her on home. It was not immediate, but she did finally get her wish after two horrible years of suffering. Our human side demands answers as to WHY she suffered the way she did and WHY she died the way she did. Why did it have to be this way when God could have reached down His mighty hands and healed her?! Just as I am writing all of these questions, I am reminded that Jesus did not deserve to come to this earth to suffer and die for our sins, yet He did. He walked this path knowing what His future would hold. Jesus suffered tremendously at the end of His life. He did it all out of the love He has for us, to save us all from sin so we could have eternal life in Heaven if we only ask Him to come into our hearts.
While I am still mourning the loss of my grandmother as her passing is so fresh, I know that she would not want us to be sad. She is in Heaven with Jesus this holiday season. She is at Home where she wanted to be with God above. She is not in any more pain. She is not suffering. She does not have a frail body any longer. Her health was restored when she took her very last breath on this side and crossed over to the other side to be with the Lord.
I can imagine her dancing with Jesus and then going to work in the kitchen getting every thing ready for the grand celebration of His upcoming birthday. I can imagine her tending to all of the beautiful gardens in Heaven, as that is what she loved to do here on earth. I can imagine her pointing her fingers at us from her place at the feet of Jesus and telling us not to cry. She told us before she passed on that she knew it would hurt and she knew we would cry, but she wanted to be with Jesus. I can hear her saying those words to me, and it hurt hearing her say that. She did not want to leave us, but she wanted her pain to end. She wanted to be with Jesus, and she was looking forward to being reunited with our loved ones in Heaven. I can only imagine that my sister and my granddaddy were standing at the gates of Heaven waiting to give her the biggest hug she had ever had as they ushered her in those pearly gates and down the streets of gold to stand before Jesus. I can imagine that she fell immediately to her knees and kissed His feet and that she praised Him, oh how she praised Him.
When it hurts, I think about what their life must be like now that they are in Heaven. It hurts so badly for us on this side. We miss them so much, and we are gripped with overwhelming sadness and waves of sorrow crash in on us. But please know that if they ever accepted Christ into their hearts, they are with Him in Heaven now. They are at peace, and they are happy once again. They do not want us to be sad, although that is all a part of the grieving process. I want you to feel those feelings and allow them to come, just please do not get so stuck in your grief that you spiral down into a severe depression.
It is hard to pull ourselves up, but please know that God truly is close to the broken hearted. Trust it, believe that it is true. You may feel sad and alone right now, consumed in your grief. Please reach out to another family member, a trusted friend, a grief support group, or to me. I will be here for you. While I cannot make your pain go away, I can encourage you, support you, love you, and pray for you. And I will continue to do this throughout the holiday season and beyond. If you need prayer, please allow me the privilege of praying for you. If you would like to share your story so that you can speak freely of your loved ones, I encourage you to write it all out – sharing as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. I will read it, I will pray over it, and I will pray for you. If you feel that you do not have any one else to turn to, I will be there for you. Feel free to email me at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please know that love is eternal. Death cannot break the bond that you shared with your loved ones. While we cannot take any material possessions with us when we leave this world, I believe that we do take the love we feel in our hearts with us as love lives on long after our loved ones have crossed over. Love lives on!
When it hurts, know that God is right there with you with His loving arms wrapped so tightly around you. He is there, and He knows each and every tear that spills out of your eyes and rolls down your cheeks. He knows how your body is trembling as deep sobs come from within you as you hurt to the very core of your being. When you feel as if you cannot take another step forward in this life, He will be there to carry you. When it hurts, reach up and take the hand of God. Cry out to Him, and I promise He will meet you there.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18