Last month I was informed by WordPress that the blog I wrote about grief was read over 2,000 times over the past year, which caused me to reflect on this issue more. I began to think of my cousin Susan, she experienced more losses in her life than anyone I know. Some of you may remember me writing about her in my very first blog “TRUST.” I decided her rich life experiences were extremely valuable and needed to be shared, so I asked her to guest blog “GLASS HALF FULL.”
One of life’s most difficult challenges is saying good-bye to the ones we love. I was 35 years old, when I received a call telling me my husband was at the hospital in critical condition. He was in renal failure, because of drug and alcohol abuse. The next three weeks were to be a vast decline of him. He slipped into a coma, went into cardiac arrest, which forced him to be put on life support, next he developed a blood clot in his brain from all the dialysis he was receiving, to finally hearing the news that my husband no longer had brain activity. It was a tremendous amount for one person to handle, but I had three small children at home, and no choice but to handle it. Thankfully, I’ve always had a presence of God in my life. And I knew He would be the one to get me through.
During our marriage, I watched my husband live a life of tremendous struggles with addiction and past afflictions. Now, God was calling him home, his struggles were finally over. I knew God would take care of our children and me, but it was still scary, painful and very difficult, our world had changed forever. I began grief counseling and put my children in therapy. I had lost my parents a few years earlier and still felt that pain and loss. I wanted badly to work through this pain, so I could feel alive again.
When I lost my parents, I became an adult orphan, which changed my relationship with God. I started looking to our heavenly Father as my parent and becoming more depended upon Him. I learned to trust Him more by understanding as a parent; we always have our children’s best interest at heart. When our child hurts, we feel their pain; the same is true for God. I was learning how much our Father loves us. Although, grieving never ends, you begin to learn to live with it. I knew how damaging it could be to get stuck in the grieving process, causing many dysfunctions throughout our life if not addressed, and I did not want this to happen.
I learned to acknowledge and accept grieving when it comes, allowing myself to feel the sadness and the pain and NOT to shut it out. I found that when I permitted myself to feel the pain and the loss, my healing began, and I was able to appreciate life in the present and let the sorrow go. My loved ones that have passed will never be forgotten. They all live within my heart and in my spirit. Our family is surrounded of photos and stories of them always. They were a huge part of our lives and they still are. We don’t know what would have been. We must be thankful for the time we do have with each other. No one knows how much time we are given. Maybe God only intended for my husband and I to be together just to bring our three children into this world and then part.
Life is changing all the time, and many times we have no control over those changes. People move in and out of our lives, divorce, jobs change; our children grow and move out on their own, we are faced with grieving in many different forms. I feel I have a choice of what kind of attitude to have. I like to have a positive glass half-full attitude. Sure life can be very tough, but everything is temporary and nothing lasts forever. My children’s father had to go home to be with God at 38 years old. That was God’s plan. Who am I to question?
Now 16 years later having gone through additional losses of my brother, a best friend to cancer and my young cousin to a horrific death, I’m still trusting God. I now view death as a re-birth into our spiritual bodies, where there is no pain and no more tears. What more could we possibly want for our loved ones? I choose to live in the moment and I teach my children to do the same. Life can change in an instant, there is so much to be thankful for in this day, so why waste it on yesterday that is already gone or on tomorrow that may never come. I now welcome my unpleasant circumstances as a blessing for opportunity of growth and I pray as I pray for all to receive God’s Will through His grace, His understanding, His wisdom, and His discernment.
Grieving is a personal journey, and we all grieve differently. I’m expressing what has worked for me and I could never have made it one day without God. He has been with me every step of the way and I am eternally grateful. One day does not go by without a miracle being revealed. Reading the bible has become food for my soul. In conclusion I’d like to share two of my favorite scriptures, which help me immensely:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. ~Proverbs 16:3
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, and He will show you which path to take. ~Proverbs 3:5-6