I missed my father yesterday. I had a dream about him, and in my dream he was near me, living his life like normal, but somehow he was out of reach. I couldn’t relate to him or communicate in any way.
I guess in some way that’s true – his life goes on in heaven, but to me he is out of reach. I cannot call him or go visit or expect a letter in the mail from him.
It’s been about five and a half years since he passed. Eight months since my mother passed. Four months since my father-in-law passed. I wonder if those three have connected in heaven yet as a trio, maybe playing Chinese checkers or having some ice cream together – because I KNOW there’s got to be ice cream in heaven, and it’s not even sugar free because there’s no diabetes there.
There’s something about losing your parents that makes you feel alone in the world. It’s not like I was really close to them and suddenly they were gone. Because of their age and my mother’s memory loss, there was a long slow goodbye over many years. But even though in their waning years they may not have been able to protect or provide for me or give me advice, they were still there. Still sitting in their chairs each day, eating meals, smiling and laughing, and I could go to see them if I wanted to.
Now they are no longer accessible. At moments when this reality sinks in, I feel alone in the world.
There’s a sadness when you lose someone that can’t be covered over. I guess all grief is like that, really. When we lose something, whether a parent or a spouse or a job or an opportunity, there’s a hole left behind that nothing else can really fill.
And so what can we do? Entertainment won’t fill the hole. Neither will shopping or exercise or even chocolate.
All I know to do is to bring my sadness to Jesus.
Jesus always seemed to know what to do when He was around grieving people on earth. He would heal them, or forgive them, or raise their loved one from the dead.
And so I bring my aching heart to Him. I don’t have to pretend it doesn’t hurt. I don’t have to worry that He won’t have time for me. I don’t have to worry that He won’t understand.
He is always near, because He said He would never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
He always cares, because He told me to cast my anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
He always knows how to comfort, because He heals the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds (Psalm 147:3).
I know that one day, a day of His choosing, He will raise my loved ones from the dead. We will be reunited. The grieving will be over. One day every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
Until then, I know there will be days where the loneliness weighs heavy. On those days I will acknowledge the hurt, but remember that hurt is not all there is to life. I will let the tears come. And I will run to Jesus.