‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I look forward to the day when Jesus returns as He promises in His Word. I eagerly anticipate when there will be no more pain, no more tears of sorrow and mourning will be ended once and for all.
Earlier this week, a dark cloud appeared in our lives and reminded us that life is but a fleeting moment here on earth. That just as there is a time for being born, there is also a time to die. It was with great sadness, my father-in-law drew his last breath. While we know, he is in Heaven with The Father, it does not make it any easier for the family members that are left behind. While we can rejoice in knowing, we will see him again, the ache that hangs onto your heart and the tears that are near the surface of spilling out, that is a sorrow that will take years to get over.
When I was younger, I always heard that”time heals all wounds”. I know, now as an adult, that it isn’t the case, exactly. I know that one of the reasons grief is so hard and messy is that when you grieve the loss of someone that you love and care deeply for, there is no time frame for when that grief stops. I lost my own father three years ago and he is always on my mind. I know that when it was time for him to leave our presence and go to the presence of Jesus, he no longer suffered or struggled with his pain and labored breathing, and in that essence, he was in a much better place. And I also know that no amount of preparing yourself for the inevitability of a loved one’s time is drawing near, cannot prepare your heart for the sorrow it holds when their time has come.
Each and every person deals and handles grief differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Today, as I surveyed the space within the room where a time of hugs, laughter, and tears were erupting, I realized how short life is. Every person on this earth touches the hearts of others, in many ways. Some experiences are pure joy, while others are hard lessons to learn and some are sad. I have learned that no matter how much time you have to live your life, living it to the fullest means not leaving this earth with regrets. Or living in the “I wish I had done________” or “What if?”.
Cherish your family, make amends if needed, love deeply. At the end that is all that matters. Loving each other for the time we are given on this earth. Regrets don’t have to be if we choose to live in the abundance of love. Forgive others, hold dear the memories and treasures of the time you have with those that make up your tribe. Be thankful and grateful that you were blessed to be part of their life. Don’t be afraid to speak their name or share a memory or story of why they were so special in your life.
I have found, in my experience with loss, as you share what you loved about the person you’ve lost, not only does that piece of your heart that feels like it will never be the same again, start to fill with love because you had them in your life, the sorrow does become easier to live with. It’s always there, but in order to continue living your life, some days you have to tuck it away in a special place in your soul and some days you allow it to run freely because you just need to do that. That’s okay. Every one of us grieves and processes things differently.
Saying goodbye is never easy. Tomorrow we will say our final farewell to a man that meant so much to so many. And I will cherish all the memories that we shared over the past 24 years. I will share those moments with our children and grandchildren so our family history will continue with each generation.
We love you, dad. We will miss you. We are happy that you are home with mom now and we look forward to when we will see you again. Thanks for being a part of our lives.
In loving memory of Donald K. “Woody” Wooddell. First breath taken on 10/26/31 and last breath drawn on 11/12/18.
May you know how much Jesus loves you~right now~in this moment. Jesus can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony. #HopeAlwaysHave Faith
Blessings until next time~Carlene