You didn’t see an Easter family pic this year from me, because I spent Easter Sunday at the hospital with my Grandma Letha. In a quiet moment that afternoon, surrounded by the family that held her dear, my sweet Grandma was risen with Jesus.
It was not an accident that the Lord chose Easter Sunday to call her home. To say that she was a hero of the faith is a grand understatement. There are few people in my life that have influenced my walk with Jesus as much as she has. I dedicated my Ready Bible study to her, because it was written from the pages of a Bible, my first Bible, that she gave to me thirty years ago just after my mother died. I am heartbroken that I can no longer see and hear her, but rejoice that she is completely healed and walking with her Savior today.
I have a lot of words swirling in my head about my Grandma; she left us with a rich legacy of faith and living we can all learn from. But I’ll save them for another time because these are days for leaving the mascara in the bathroom drawer and letting the tears fall freely as they come.
I’ve thought so much this week about those of you who might be walking a path of grief right now. If that’s you, I have a few thoughts that I hope might encourage us both as we walk this path together:
- We are not alone. One of the biggest lies we can tell ourselves when we are hurting is that we do it alone, but that’s not true. INSERT BIG HUG HERE. I understand what you are feeling and more importantly, Jesus does too. He sees every tear that falls and it doesn’t scare Him away. He promises to be with us always.
- People grieve differently, and that’s okay. It’s okay to hibernate. It’s okay to seek community. It’s okay to keep busy. It’s okay to rest. Be tender with yourself as you learn to live without your loved one, and be patient with others who do it differently than you.
- If we are wise enough to recognize it, our days of mourning can be some of the sweetest we know. I haven’t always done this one well. When my father died, I wasn’t looking for anything but an escape. But if we can train our minds to cling to the truth of Psalm 34:18, we’ll recognize that the Lord is tangibly near and precious in ways that we might not otherwise see. From her dear friends and former pastor who just happened to be in town as Grandma was passing, to the bluebirds that flew in and out of her bluebird house as we were planning her memorial service, to my Christmas cactuses that remind of me her blooming again this week, to the drops of rain that should have fallen during her burial, but didn’t…God was and is so near to us in our mourning. Look for Him in your details. He longs to hold you close.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.