I was hoping you wouldn't mind it I asked you for your prayers tonight. Today was a pretty terrible day for me.
I had heard that grief has a tendency to sneak up on you when you least expect it. And in a way, I suppose I was expecting it to do just that. But I guess I had assumed it would come by way of a memory thought of that hadn't been recalled before, or by looking at a person, place or thing that reminded me of my Dad, or at least as a result of something that tied my life to his. I also figured it would feel like the grief I have already experienced. Something resembling a tug to the heart, followed by an aching sense of loss, rounded off with a healthy dose of tears.
What I wasn't expecting was to be on my way to church this morning, minding my own business, and then being completely side-swiped by what surely must have been a 350 pound linebacker armed with a missile of despair aimed straight at my gut. Out of nowhere I couldn't talk, I couldn't breathe, I just wanted to turn around, crawl into bed, and leave this world behind.
And the feeling didn't want to leave. It followed me through church, back to my home, through the rest of my morning, and right up until lunch when I finally gave in to it and wept until my soul was emptied of all the pain that had been fighting to find it's way out.
I still don't know what triggered it. But it drained me, and it has made me afraid of what's to come. It left me wondering if it's possible that I haven't even begun to grieve yet? This seems inconceivable, as for the last almost three months it feels as if I have been doing nothing but. This is all new territory for me, territory I just don't understand, and territory from which I want to find my way out. Although I have always been a sensitive person, I have also at least had a grip on my emotions, and have been able to channel them in appropriate ways, at appropriate times, and in front of appropriate people.
But today I had no control. You could have come up to me and commented on what a lovely morning it was, and ended up with an inconsolable, thirty-something pregnant women crying into your shoulder, staining your Sunday best with her ceaseless tears.
I just miss my Dad. I never knew what those words could contain until today. I thought I did, but I had no idea. The most simple phrases kept running through my head, and they held everything in them that I just couldn't bear in that moment to feel anymore...
"I miss him. He's not here. He's gone too soon. He should be here. This hurts too much. I can't make it through this. I need him here. I'm too young to not have a father. I miss him, I miss him, I just miss him."
I don't know when or if another day like today is going to happen. From everything I'm told, this is all part of the normal grieving process. All I know is that nothing about it seems normal. I feel as if today should have happened two months ago, not right now, and not without warning.
And so this is where I was hoping that when you say your prayers tonight you wouldn't mind saying an extra one for me, and my siblings, and my Mom. I don't know when a day like this is going to unexpectedly show up at their door, I'm sure in my Mom's case these days are probably more the rule than the exception, but please just pray that comfort and calm will reign in all of our hearts. Pray that following directly behind the pit of darkness will come blazing the Prince of Peace. Pray that grief does not lead our lives, but that we have the ability to find our rest in the arms of Jesus, knowing that He sees every tear that falls, and knows when the next one will follow.
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day at a loss. I'm confused as to what happened today, how it happened, and what I should do when it happens again. I thought I had a handle on all of this, Lord. I thought I was doing pretty good. I thought the worst was behind me. Was I wrong?
This is when I find myself grateful that I serve a God who has been here before. A God who knows grief, who has experienced grief, and as a result has the heart to say to us, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted". You understand, Lord, and promise me that if I turn to You in the midst of my sorrow I will be blessed. Thank You, for this acknowledgement of our struggles and Your reward for our faithfulness in the middle of them.
I pray that You are near to my Mom tonight, and to my brother and sisters, as I know they are wrestling with life without my Dad too. Grant them Your presence and Your peace. Comfort them with thoughts of our future, together as a family once again, rejoicing and praising You for eternity. See us through to the end, Lord, and keep us close until then.
In Your Name I pray,