I dedicate this stream of thought to my friends who have lost loved ones. I think of my friends, Carl, Rich, Kris, Ann, Nicole, Dara, Kyle, as well as others whose loved ones have passed on. Let’s face it…loss hurts. We love deeply and we are also used to certain presences in our lives. When that presence is gone, there is a void.
Some folks think mourning stops after the funeral. Well, maybe the actual mourning does pass. If we are of reasonable balance, the time of grieving does pass, for some quicker or slower than for others. However, we will always miss our loved ones. Some people may take months…or even years…to readjust because they miss their loved one so much. As one good friend put it, “My father died over four years ago and I am now beginning to get my ‘sparkle’ back.”
It is easy to judge someone for taking so long to regain themselves. But, this woman loved her father so much, that his loss was great for her. Yet, I have seen other folks, who, while missing their loved one, seem to bounce back into life quite quickly. As far as I am concerned, neither one of these is wrong.
In Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that there is a time to mourn. Not a strict time limit, but a time period. Some take time to mourn for days, some weeks. But, there is no time limit on missing someone. One lady I went to church with over 30 years ago wore black every Sunday. She mourned the loss of her daughter – who passed away 20 years before. That is a deeper problem. But, missing someone…that is different.
A scent, a scene, an event, an issue, a time of day, a TV program, a look, a sound, or just a random thought can remind us of someone we love. If that person has passed away, we may think of how much we miss them. This can happen even many years after they pass.
I was at a wedding last fall of a young friend who is the daughter of good friends of ours. Her dad, my good friend, passed away just less than a year before the wedding. As the bride and her new husband danced, I was standing by her mother, who broke down in tears, saying, “I know how much Dan would have loved this.” Even writing this, my eyes have welled up a little. Dan was my friend and I miss him, too.
We are made for relationships. We are made with all the emotions we have. If you you lost your Mom, Dad, wife, husband, sibling, friend, child…even a beloved pet (oh, yes, they do wrap themselves around our hearts, too), you will miss them and this is normal. Yes! Normal! On this earth, our lives are partly like a tapestry, made up of the different relationships we have. When one of those closer relationships is gone, there is a void in that tapestry. The tapestry is still there, but the void is unmistakable.
I am sad for those who miss people so much. It makes me a little sad when I think of the hurt, loneliness and how they miss someone. I can be a bit empathetic because I know how I miss some people. I think of other friends, like George and Art. I know that there are times I miss my grandmother. Yes, I can empathize. I may not have lost my ‘sparkle’, as my long time friend did (not really sure I ever had a ‘sparkle’, really), but I have felt the sadness and emptiness associated with loss.
If you have had a loss and it is taking time to get back in the swing of things, some people may not understand. Some may even be upset with you. Yet, there will be others who will be patient and may even walk through it with you. Stick with those last folks when you’re having a hard time. Remember, too, that God has all the patience of eternity and He is not upset with you and certainly not disappointed in you. He has watched billions of people over the millenia, who have experienced grief and sadness. He knows they have been sad. During His time on Earth, He experienced various levels of grief and sadness. He knows. He understands. He is just fine with you.
Some things take time. Some things take more time for some people than it does for others. We need to be patient with those for whom grief takes a little more time. Now, there needs to be some progress as the process goes on. But, pain runs deeper in some folks than others. The deeper it runs, it takes more time to come to the surface and heal. It must take the time necessary and not be rushed. With time, patience and love…healing will happen.
Even then, they will miss their loved one. And, that is just fine.