Friday, January 11, 2019

Fog


This photo is from our first days' drive home from Colorado. The I-70 Interstate across eastern Colorado was only visible a short distance in front of us. If you look carefully, you can faintly see a few headlights on the other side of the interstate at the far left of the photo.

Farm houses and fields were invisible. We could only see a very small way in front of us. I shared a similar photo on Instagram that morning with the words of Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

This was a hard morning because we left Colorado and my Mom, I woke up not feeling good with the worst sore throat I've had in years and of course there were emotions and exhaustion filling in all the cracks.

Now that we've been home a week, I think this fog somewhat portrays how I'm moving forward. I don't feel in a fog necessarily, but I do feel much more scattered than I am accustomed to. Getting settled in to our home feels comforting and peaceful but outside commitments feel distant and my mind is not doing much focusing on those things.

Grieving looks different for everyone and I want to say that I'm not practiced at grieving, but then I realize that we have been saying goodbye for ten years and I think maybe I am practiced at grieving but don't realize it?

There were a lot of things I could not share publicly during the long illness with my Dad, he would read those things and wonder at the intent/thought/truth behind it because he did not admit {at least out loud} that he was dying. It seems that now, I'm realizing how much of the past ten years I may not have dealt with yet, my Mom and sister and I shared and processed quite honestly through the years but I'm not sure it is done for me - this honest processing.

Over the weekend, I looked up grieving as a Christian and came upon two great articles:
- Grief Finding Hope in the Darkness by Paul David Tripp
- How to Grieve Like a Christian by Tim Challies

This writing is just a part of the process and hopefully the healing as well for me. There are cautions too - I don't know how to answer when people ask me how I am doing? Yet I also don't want to get caught in a place of self-pity. God is good and that has not changed, time will expand my vision again and bring healing. And that seems to naturally bring us back to the words at the beginning: Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

When we drive in fog, we just keep moving ahead - that is our job. Not to pull over and stop and wallow but to ease forward gently. We turn our headlights on, reduce speed and stay alert. There is value in this visual lesson even for grief - His Word is the lamp, slowing down is healthy and being sure of what we hope for is the watchful eye.

Later in the weekend, I read 1 Peter 5:10, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

Yes, Lord - that is what I want: restoration to make me strong, firm and steadfast.

10 comments:

Wendi said...

When you are ready reading this blog might help. http://andyandcari.blogspot.com/ Her parents attend our former church. She no longer blogs, but did blog through the loss of her infant daughter and then the loss of her husband to a brain tumor. She blogged about her loss, grief and faith. Through her unimaginable loss she points again and again to the hope she has in Christ.

Jen said...

My dad has been gone for nearly 6 years, and I think I will always be "grieving". As my kids have grown, and I realize more and more what my dad is "missing", the tears still come and some days are just plain sad. About a year after my dad died, my sweet mom confessed to me that she felt like people "expected her to be over it". I was shocked and gently told her, "mom, you were married for 50 years, losing him is not something you EVER get over." Of course, we all grieve differently, but don't let anyone tell YOU how to grieve. Do what is right and good for Monica. And on the sad days and the happy ones, hold tight to Jesus and look forward to the blessing of eternity with your sweet dad! Love and prayers to you!

Sara said...

If you need something else to read, I really recommend "A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss" by Jerry Sittser. In it, he tells his own story which is very emotional. My sister gave me this book right after my dad passed away and it took me over a year to even pick it up. It was helpful. I continue to pray for your family.

Tammy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your godly perspective! I know just what you mean, as I lost my mom to cancer a year ago, and the fog analogy is a great picture. Even though it's hard to see sometimes, in it all, the Lord is good! You and your family are in my prayers.

Mom said...

Dear sweet Monica, you have put into words so much of how grieving is looking and feeling. The fog we all talked about experiencing those first few days has lifted for me to some extent - or at least I think it has until I'll realize that I've forgotten or overlooked something that used to be a normal part of my day.

I think you're right that we've been grieving for 10 years - slow grief - but, of course, that grieving looks different now. There are so many layers to grief that we each experience and work through in our own way.

I just read 1 Peter 5:10 this morning and echo your prayer for restoration to make us strong, firm, and steadfast. I love you very much!

Lona Pritchett said...

Many prayers to you and your family in the days ahead.

*carrie* said...

Thank you for sharing, Monica. I particularly appreciated the first article and will refer to it again. Love you so much!

Anonymous said...

Monica,you have beautifully put into words the process of grieving. I know it is different for each of us, but as you know when any of our loved ones suffer, we suffer too. My heart has been heavy this morning as I realize it is one month today since your dad went to be with Jesus and was relieved of his suffering. I cannot imagine the mixed emotions your mom has been going through, as she was SO exhausted from the constant care and concern for your dad...and yet "letting go" must be very difficult for her, as well. I'm grateful for good friends who have been attentive to her.
My continued prayers are with all of you. Much love, Grandma

Anonymous said...

Lord Bless You dear Monica and all your family. ~tammy

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and the articles you found about grief. They were very helpful. I'm not sure if your Church offers a program called "Griefshare", but I participated in a Griefshare group when my father suddenly passed away 10 years ago, and it was very helpful in learning about grieving from a Biblical perspective. Just an option I thought I'd suggest since it was helpful. I'm very sorry for your loss.