Grief, we all have felt it. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a job that has discontinued, a home that was engulfed in a fire or just today’s events, we all know grief. This past year, 2020 was filled with hope and possibilities. Just the thought of a double digit year seemed awe-inspiring. Spring came, and things were going in a different direction. I remember my grandson and I were skiing in Lake Tahoe and thanking God for the late snowfall. The year had been fairly dismal for snow accumulation, but the week before Easter, we received 3-4’ of fresh powder. We were so excited to be able to ski a bit longer, took our final run of the day, and thought, we would be back tomorrow to enjoy another day. But then, everything changed. Northstar, along with all Epic Ski Areas, and for that matter all ski areas closed for the season! We were crushed. We received an email from school shortly after and they too had closed to on-campus learning, with no definite time of reopening. Flights were cancelled, trips were postponed indefinitely, and people were told to isolate in their homes! One by one, the freedoms we took for granite where being taken away. Grief came upon us and we all knew that times were changing.
There will always be great grief in this life. Last Sunday, my mother was taken away to be with the Lord. I feel a loss that is so profound, one that is too hard to describe. I see my father who is dearly missing his life-partner, his bride, his soulmate, and how that hurts my heart so greatly. Why do we experience such emotions and how do we get through day after day when one person after another, one desire, one hope or one dream is taken away? I find myself asking God a lot of questions these days. He doesn’t always answer but I know he hears me. Lord, what did you say to Mom when she arrived? Is she looking down on me and Dad? Is she dancing and singing like an angel? Sweet Jesus, when do I get to see her again, to hold her, to feel her presence, to laugh with her? And when will this grief stop hurting so bad?
I keep thinking of Jesus when he lost his dear friend Lazarus and John 11:35 says “he wept”. Jesus knew that he would raise Lazarus again so why did he weep? Did he feel the pain and suffering of Mary and Martha? Did he feel the sin of death that Adam and Eve imposed on this world? Did he know that his time was short and he would soon personally know his own death? I believe he felt all the same things that we feel, all the sorrow and pain that we experience. He was human even though he is God. Jesus knows exactly what I am feeling. He knows all the pain that you are experiencing. I wonder if Jesus wept when my mother died and I think he did. I believe that He cried when he saw my father’s pain, and when he saw me and my sister kissing my mom goodbye for the final time here on earth. There is a Swedish proverb that says, “Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow.” There are some things in life that are best done alone, but sorrow is undoubtably better shared.
As the days pass by, I have comfort in knowing that our Lord and Savior understands my every emotion. He walked this path, he has felt denial, rejection, and he has felt loss. Each day is made new, every moment and every breath that I have is certainly a gift. Thank you Jesus for walking this journey with me, with my family and surrounding us with people who love and share our grief. There are tears in heaven but I believe they are tears of joy in knowing that we will all be together again. And that gives me incredible hope and solace.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we may comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4