Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holding Out For Happy

Sometimes I wonder what God's motive was when He gave humans the capacity to feel grief. I understand that without sorrow there can be no joy, without feeling sad we wouldn't know what it feels like to be happy, but grief in and of itself is just such a strange emotion.

For instance, in the last eight months since my Dad died I have yet to experience the same grief twice. It is ever-changing, ever-shifting, even taking up residence in different parts of my body. There are the days when it hits suddenly, like a semi-truck to the solar plexus, while other days it is a never-ending ache in my heart. One day the intensity of it will make my knees buckle, while the next day it is restricted to the burning behind my eyes, indicating the tears are about to fall. It comes fast, or it comes on slow, it lessens quickly, or it doesn't seem to lessen at all. The only thing that doesn't change is that it changes, and it will keep coming back. It is never duplicated, never replicated, yet it is always there. Even when I am happy, I am sad. Even when I am excited, I am still mourning. Even while I continue to live out the day to day of my life, the longing to be with my father never goes away. My grief has become just as much a part of me as any other physical part of my being. It is part of my definition. If I were to introduce myself to someone, it would be hard to leave out the phrase, "Grieving my Dad" at the end of my list of characteristics. This loss has changed me, more so than I ever thought it could.

What makes me even more sad is that while my Dad was alive he would often comment on my happiness. By nature I have always been an optimist, a lover of life, able to go with the flow, finding the positive in every situation. On a few occasions he told me that seeing me always happy made him happy, and he wished he had more of that in himself. I was so flattered to know that there was something in me that he admired, and what can I say? It made me happy.

But without him here that innate lightheartedness which was always so easy for me to tap into has disappeared. I still feel joy, I still laugh, I still can find good around me, but now it is all tainted with this burning hole in my heart that he left behind. A part of me died when he did. A part that he appreciated in me. A part that was tied up in him being in my life. A part that I very much miss, but don't expect to ever return, as I think alot of it was born of naivete and inexperience as to what this life can hold (or take away).

Eight months ago today my dear, beloved, treasured Dad died. It has been eight months since I've heard him laugh, since I've played him in a card game, since I've seen him walk in my door, since we've enjoyed a meal together.

In this time I have put my house up for sale, bought a new car, and given him another grandchild. My daughters have turned another year older. My life goes on, even without him here. I don't know how it does, but night keeps turning to day and the sun keeps rising, neverminding the fact that I just want time to go backwards, to a place when I can see him and touch him again.

Obviously, I know this is not possible. So instead I will try to look forward. I will look forward to the very second when I will lay eyes on him again, look forward to that first embrace, look forward to being with him forever, knowing that nothing will never, can never, separate us again.

And that makes me happy.

Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day wishing he was still here. You know how I miss him, how my life forever feels as if it's empty of something significant, how I feel I am being robbed over, and over, and over again. But, Lord, if he must be gone, it only makes me appreciate and love You more. You are unable to leave me. You are unable to be stolen from me. You love me as he loved me, even more than he loved me, and that love can never be destroyed by cancer, conquered by death, buried in a grave. It is Your love, Lord, which makes losing him okay. It is this love alone that makes the pain bearable, and makes it even hopeful. Only You, Lord, are capable of turning grieving into glad expectation.

Thank You, for being the Lord of life. You are Power. You are Strength. You are Comfort. You are Peace.

You are Joy. And in that I will continue to find my happiness.

In Your Name I pray,

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