Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Grief

When I got the call that my Dad had passed away, I immediately went into shock. I didn't immediately break down into tears. Instead, I spent the next few hours repeating over and over to Hubs, "I can't believe he's gone."

The next day, we went immediately into task mode. Hubs made airline reservations for us. We packed suitcases. I wrote and called people to let them know that my father passed away.

Then came an airplane flight, a funeral, another airplane flight, another funeral, the burial, and another flight home.

It was a whirlwind, to say the least. And while I felt a veil of sadness hovering over that week, there wasn't a lot of room for grieving. The only times I really cried were at both funerals when I got up to speak about my Dad. 

Hubs has been such an loving husband and a wonderful resource for me during this season. He lost his Dad to cancer 15 years ago. When I asked him what his grief was like, he described it as a process much like peeling away layers of an onion. It happened over time.

Yesterday, after we dropped Mom, Jilly and Sam off at the airport, I got in the car and cried. The sadness of seeing them go coupled with the grief I feel of losing my Dad finally came to a head and a wave of grief washed over me. It seemed to last throughout the day--on and off teariness. It was cleansing and necessary.

Having gone through this before with the loss of my stepfather, I know that there are no real rules to grieving. Everyone grieves in their own unique way. Sometimes my grief sneaks up on me...I'll be driving along, thinking about my loved one, and the next thing I know I've got tears rolling down my cheeks. And I realize, there must have been another layer to that onion.

With my Dad, I think I've been grieving for the past two years, as I've watched his slow decline. Even so, there is a whole new stage of grieving ahead of me now that God has called him home. A new onion to be peeled, as it were. 

Last night, our small group from church (7 of us) gathered in our home. After I caught everyone up on the events of the past few weeks, they sat me down in a chair and gathered around me to pray for me. One of my friends prayed that the Holy Spirit would be my Comforter. That made me smile. At the end of my Dad's life, that is the same thing I prayed for Him. While my grief is very real, and a valley I must walk through, I know it is finite. The same God Who comforted my Dad in his last days is comforting me now. He is also the God Who has welcomed my Dad to his Heavenly home, where we will be reunited in glory!


Jennifer Disney said...

Ah, my friend. I am praying for you. I love you and miss you.

Mrs. G. said...

Everyone grieves differently, but I really don't think there is any fast or easy route through it. You are so lucky to have hubs and your family and friends see you through.
I have thought of you many times this week. Keep lots of pictures of your new nephew around-new life does help ease the pain of lost life.

Michael and Abby said...

You are very strong in the Lord. Keep that smile friend, you are such a blessing. Can't wait to see you tomorrow night. Love you.

mrs. blogoway said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to read this. I've been busy and haven't checked on you in a while... Hope your heart mends soon. Much love from Texas.

Saucy said...

Grief is a difficult and personal journey. You have a strong support system to get through it. ((Hugs)) and all of us bloggers too!

josey said...

tracy, you are such a blessing to so many people--do you know that? the way you so openly share your fervent love for the Lord is so inspiring and for me, comforting! i know you're not grasping for compliments, but i felt you should know that even during your lowest times you shine for Him!

i am continually praying for your peace and inner joy and that God wont skimp on the "daddy bear hugs" as you grieve and also as you are there for your family.

AND you are so lucky to have someone like Hubs. God bless him, too!


Autumn's Mom said...

You have God and Hubs to be your comforter :) I like your analogy of grief being like an onion. It's right on. Lots of hugs to you.