Death is terrible.

I don’t remember a lot of birthday parties or weddings but I remember funerals. The wounds the death of a loved one leaves on our souls, minds and bodies are eternal, and sometimes almost deadly.

Another year has passed since that wretched day when death screamed it had won. I write every year for my own coping abilities. This year I seem to have a lot of tears with a tinge of despair – the images are still so vivid with no hope they will ever fade. As I grieve yet again and agonize over all the details of those days (and nights), I am pushing for thankfulness.

Fifteen years have passed, 15 things I’m thankful for.

  1. Song on repeat that carries me through the pain on repeat.
  2. Friends’ prayers that comfort my soul during this season
  3. Matthew’s ability to make me laugh in the most inconceivable moments
  4. Kids that pull me out of my misery by plopping me into theirs
  5. Work that keeps my mind busy
  6. Supplements that help me when my agony depletes me
  7. A brain that keeps all kinds of memories vividly alive
  8. Books
  9. He’s resting and no longer struggling
  10. A red cardinal at our bird feeder
  11. Coffee
  12. Chocolate
  13. Ice cream
  14. Plants
  15. Psalm 56:8:

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

There’s a small part of me that’s jealous. He’s resting. I’m restless. Death took a lot from me already. So much that it makes me tired when I think of it. How do you “celebrate life” when a life was filled with much torment or a life was cut too short? I can’t. I just grieve the loss. I will always wonder if I cried enough tears or wore enough black. I don’t know. But I do know I will see him again soon enough. So maybe that’ll do for now?

Here I go again, though. Another day, I wake up breathing and alive. Although I don’t always want this next breath, I’m thankful for it. I keep opening mac ‘n cheese boxes and wiping countertops.

Check on your friends who are grieving during this season. There’s not enough eggnog to drown their pain. They may just go on with their day but they’re not okay.

One thought to “the problem of grief”

  • Arnie Dorenkamp

    what a uplifting attitude to share with people. It is very inspiring for everyone to consider in the turbulent time.

    Reply

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