This month has been a difficult one for me. In the span of 12 days, our family lost two people. One of them devastated me and the other one I received with numbness–or so I thought.
Grief is a funny thing. In my life, I have lost a lot of people. Some of those losses were of people I knew my whole life, some of those losses were of childhood friends and some of those losses changed my life forever. During these two weeks I spent a lot of time alone. Partly by choice and partly because I’m relatively new in the city I live in.
When you live in a small town, like we did when my grandmother passed away 11 years ago, for the first while there is a never ending parade of visitors. They come for various reasons. Some visitors bring food (lasagna, casseroles, desserts) , some bring flowers to cheer up the gloom in the house, and some just bring their company. You sit for days exchanging memories, tears and laughs and they get you through the worst of it.
When you live in a city away from the close knit community, you go to work and then you go home. If you want support, you have to ask for it and chances are the people you’re asking will feel really awkward. You didn’t grow up here, no one was close connected to the person who passed and don’t really know how to best help you. They are truly sorry for your loss, but it’s difficult for them to enter into the struggle you’re going through. All of you work full-time and have all the normal life’s problems outside of this moment that feels like you’re world has come to a standstill. They might even forget in a week’s time why you’re upset and just remember that you are. You know what? That’s okay.
Never in my life have I had to rely on Christ so much. It’s not even remotely appropriate for me to expect people that I am just getting to know to carry such a heavy burden. God’s grace is enough for us and he can and will be the comforter I need. At just the right time, someone would call me or see if I needed a coffee or a ride somewhere–and that was enough to get me through to the next small gift of love from someone else.
One time, after a particularly difficult day, two parcels came from in the mail. One was a bracelet from a very dear friend. The bracelet is a tiny glass bead the colour of my birthstone surrounded by two silver stars. It came with a card that read “Tie this string around your wrist, and when it breaks make a wish–Your friend who loves you very much wanted to send you a wish”. Of course I cried. I was feeling very alone. God, in His foreknowledge, had someone send me a gift that would arrive on a very difficult day. Moments like that show me His care for me.
The most important thing that I’ve learned this month is that it’s okay to be not okay. It’s okay to cry for seemingly no reason. It’s okay for things to taste better because you value the shortness of life. It’s okay to be completely exhausted after only having a six hour shift. It’s okay to be a mess and to feel deeply or not at all. Grief never looks the same twice.
** I’d like to add, if you would like to join my support network and help me in this journey of radical obedience http://www.gofundme.com/cherylfolland follow this link to donate and share. Every little bit helps. **