I’ve been thinking about sharing more of my life on this blog..it is the internet and that makes it difficult for me, but at the same time I have hinted at the struggles I’ve gone through for the last few years and it seems like time to open up. Five years ago my Dad died and I was left with the responsibility of my mother. She is blind in one eye and has advanced glaucoma in the other. Dad was her caretaker.
She moved out of their apartment into assisted living.. that had to happen instantly..there were many other things that had to be handled as well. It was a huge adjustment for her.. she was married to my Dad for 63 years and was 85 when he died. She turned 90 last November and is almost blind and in a wheelchair . She fell several times over the last 5 years and broke one leg in so many places.. it is basically a bionic leg now and not one she can use. This has been a stressful season for her and I came alongside her in every way that I could.
I was also busy helping my daughter with her 3 children. The youngest one was born a few months before Dad died. At the same time I had a busy season of counseling..something that God had prepared for me and I needed to take the assignment He gave me. The result was..my grief had to be put on hold.. not something I recommend. There was no real choice.. but it all caught up with me at the beginning of this year.. all the stress and all the unresolved grief. I fell apart emotionally and physically.
So.. now I am grieving..missing my Dad..feeling the loss..crying..crying..crying. My body is releasing the pain little by little. My emotions are coming to the surface..it is intense..but needed. Unresolved grief will destroy the emotional life and eventually the body. God designed us to grieve our losses..and do it thoroughly. Loss is a huge part of life..it cannot be ignored. The grief I experienced as a widow in 1999 was the catalyst for change in my life. I decided to learn everything I could on this topic and eventually become a Pastoral counselor to help people through their grieving process.
Grief is a rich and deep topic ..not one we embrace easily in our culture. Loss is an inevitable part of life.. loss and disappointment go hand in hand and we can’t escape. As I grieve the loss of my Dad.. I am reminded of other losses.. old grief comes to the surface. It is a challenging time, but easier for me because there was much fruit from my first grieving season..that will be true this time. God designed the grieving process and it often results in spiritual growth. I find myself clinging to Him with a greater intensity during this time..realizing my great need for Him in order to survive the pain and sorrow. He comes close reminding me of His faithfulness and His great love for me.
” Jesus wept”
I love the honesty with which you shared today. When you are transparent, I can see how my life resonates with yours. I am not a widow, but I have experienced situations very similar to yours – grieving at the loss of my mother, caring for my father in his latter years, along with his wife, much of it long distance [really puts the miles on the car], grieving at the loss of my father. I am so glad that I said, “I love you Daddy. You are the best Daddy ever.” every time I left him until my next trek down the mountain. Those were the last words he heard from me. I did the best I could and I have no regrets. God is gracious. Praise the Lord.,
Thanks for sharing your story Lynn.. I can tell you really understand. My last conversation with my Dad was short and sweet and a gift from God.. I wish I could see him again.. but I know that day will come..
Alicia, thanks for that post. I lost my dad too, 6 days before my wedding, 6 years ago. So I do understand grief. Thanks for reminding me to be honest. Bless you!
This post was difficult for me.. but freeing!
You have stirred my heart and I’m realizing I have grief that I have not dealt with. And I see now that God has been pointing to this need for a few months already. Thank you for sharing your journey.
I’m glad this was helpful..I will be writing more on this topic soon. We need to deal with our grief.. but it helps if someone else reminds us.
I believe when we are honest about situations, especially things like loss, grief, depression and the like, we strike a chord with many other people. America I think, and certainly Britain don’t ‘do grief’; somehow we’ve got to pretend that we are all tickety-boo and everything is ‘A-OK’ even when inside we are deeply hurting and are suffering an immense sadness.
My dad died a few years ago, too, and although the shock has gone, the loss is still felt; I didn’t have a perfect relationship with my dad for a time, but as I got older we came to an understanding; it got better, thank God.
Sometimes, it’s just better to cry your eyes out like a baby, and let it wash over you; no one should pretend they are well when they are not; in short, we need to grieve and let other people know it’s OK to be out-of-sorts for a period of time, however long that may be. To everything turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn.
Your words do more good than you know Alicia, like ripples in a pond they go where they may, touching hearts!
There is a bravery and a camaraderie and a courage that comes with sharing the messy truths of our lives, and you’ve done that very well here. People are able to lighten their spirits when they see they are not the only ones. Thanks for your hopeful, truth-telling words.
You are very welcome .. my hope is that my struggle will make someone feel less alone. It does feel so good to know that we are in this together.