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HELPING THROUGH THE GRIEF

PAGE 5

"The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget: but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude."
--- Washington Irving

 

When my Dad died, I raged at God for three weeks, until the Spirit led me to remember "His" love for me and that if I'd just let go of my Dad, He'd give me peace. I did, and He did. Just recently I was able to put this into words. Don't know that it's inspirational at all, but pray it might help someone who has lost a loved one.

WHEN ALL THE WORDS HAVE BEEN SAID


When all the words have been said,
And all the ministering has been done,
When there's nothing left to say
And the battle has been lost or won.

When death has stolen the one you love,
And you'll hear their voice no more,
When a remembered smile is a treasure
And agony lives within your core.

When the desolation engulfs you,
And a tear wanders down your cheek,
When the loneliness steals your breath
And you're left burdened and weak.

When life has lost its' meaning,
And the heartache rips your breast,
When your mind is numb with pain
And you're enduring this terrible test.

When it seems the hurting will never end,
And you've nothing left to give,
When the warm morning sun leaves you cold
And you see no reason to live.

Rage not at God in Heaven,
O'er the anguish you feel today.
For when all the words have been said,
Only His love can ease your way.

Copyright © 1999 Jim Mackey

On April 7, 1999, my sweet Sissy, Sheila, went home to be with Jesus. Oh the pain of letting go, of dreams unfulfilled. She was and is my heart. The empty place that she left can only be filled with Jesus now. No other can ever replace her love and friendship. This is my dedication to her....

I want to share something so special with you. First let me explain... Sheila (my Sissy) and I talked, for over a year, of her coming here to Florida to walk the beach with me. That dream and our plans of doing just that sustained us through the months of her enduring chemo, surgery, and all the other things that just came her way. When Bradley finally told me she would not ever get well enough to come here, I was devastated, yet at the same time I knew God had already prepared me. But I was angry, bitter and scared. I could not face the beach...a place where I go to seek God. Just the thought of going there brought tears of disappointment, hurt and dreams being smashed. She knew my pain and struggle. She talked to me about letting go of my bitterness and, well...here is the rest of the story....


When I heard my Sissy went home to God, I was happy for her. Even though my pain was searing hot, my concern for her husband and children (Brad, Kyra, Ben, Emma and Jacob) was deep. They'd lost their Wife, Mama, Like-Mama friend. My emotions ran rampant; I sobbed, I cried, I felt so weak. I didn't know what to do in my anguish. I cried out to Jesus to help me, remembering Sissy telling me I have her strength. This peace came over me and in me. When Ed got home, an hour after the news, I was pretty much together. All of a sudden I knew how to celebrate her going home - to feel closer to her. We had her favorite dinner.; a rare steak, salad with ranch dressing and steak sauce. We prayed and had a glass of alcohol free wine and I knew I had to go to the beach to take a walk that I had waited so long to take with my Sissy.

It was getting dark by the time we got there, and that was fine with me. Eddie took my wee ones to the playground and I set off on my own towards the water. As my feet hit the sand, I was shocked. It was sooo soft, softer than I remembered. I thought my Sissy would love this. It was like walking on flour. There were some people around. It was warm.

As I got to the water, I stuck my toe in. It was warm, so I waded along the shoreline. It was low tide. The tears came quickly as I thought of how much I wanted to do this with my Sissy. I felt so alone. I began to talk to God and told Him of my pain and anger and how I didn't want to be angry. From my deepest being, I cried out to Him.

Then I started singing Amazing Grace. I don't know how to sing, or the words, but I sang the whole song. When I got to the part, "was blind but now I see", it hit me --- MY SISSY CAN SEE! My heart leapt with joy at that. Then I remembered her screen name, NOWISEE799, and the book. Wow!

I had things I wanted to say to her, so I talked to her as if she were walking along side me. I showed her the things I wanted to for so long now and I thanked Father for the sound of the waves, the stars, the sand, the beauty I saw all around me.

I came to see the people all around me; lost, hurt and asked to be used to touch them, to show them Jesus. I was enveloped in peace and He showed me what Sissy told me when I last spoke with her. I have her strength --- the mantle was passed; Elijah to Elisha, .Sheila to Sharon. It flooded through me. The tears stopped, a joy bubbled up. I sang Holy, Holy, Holy, and picked up a small shell to hold. I needed something tangible. I told Father how upset I was at never having touched Sissy, and He showed me I had touched her; I touched her heart! Oh how I soared at that news!

Here I was in this self pity mode of never touching her, and I had all along. Then I asked for forgiveness for my anger, fear, for stepping back from Him. I asked Father to fill the void, the vast emptiness left in my life that was her spot in my heart. I asked for it to be filled with no other person, but for it to be filled with Jesus. I knew there was more to do, and I gave Him my will.

I know it will be a battle to let it go, but I have started to give it over to Him. All this time I wanted my way, my time, my everything. Now all I want is His way, His will, in my life. I gave Him my pain and He gave me comfort and peace. I gave Him my anger and He gave me love. I gave Him my bitterness and He gave me forgiveness.

I saw the stars shining so brightly. and smiled at the thought that Sissy can SEE! That was the biggest thrill for me. She sees Jesus, she is whole, FREE. I knew deep inside, we will be fine. Her story will be told, God's will be done. When I returned to my family, I had peace, joy in my heart, and .a smile on my face. The tears had dried. and we came home knowing "everything is gonna be OK".

Do I miss her? YES, but I will see her again and she lives on in my heart. I want to make her proud of me. I want my Lord to smile upon me and to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I now can truly celebrate her life and share all she gave to me. I love you my Sissy, forever and always!

Dedicated to My Sissy,
Sheila Lynn Loos
4/3/58--4/7/99


Forever and Always,
Sharon Louise
April 8, 1999

THE PLAN OF THE MASTER WEAVER

Our lives are but fine weavings,
That God and we prepare,
Each life becomes a fabric planned,
And fashioned in His care,
We may not always see just how,
The weavings intertwine,
But we must trust the master's hand,
And follow His design,
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side,
While we must look from underneath
And trust in Him to guide.

Sometimes a strand of sorrow
Is added to His plan,
And though it's difficult for us,
We still must understand,
That it's He who fills the shuttle,
It's He who knows what's best,
So we must weave in patience,
And leave to Him the rest.

Not till the loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas,
And explain the reason why--
The dark threads are as needed,
In the weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver,
In the pattern He has planned.

Author Unknown
Sent in by Melissa, Age 18 --- Nevada

My name is Andrea and I am a nineteen-year-old girl in Indiana.

When I was nine years old, my father was murdered. He wasn't a bad man. A man filled with greed and selfishness did a foolish act and assisted in my dad's death. I know that I could be mad at him, but God took him. The man that killed him was just an instrument. When I was 17 years old, my brother and best friend died from epilepsy. I loved him. He was one of my favorite people, if not my absolute favorite. He was 19. This year, on January 26, 1999, my heart-brother and best friend, died of cancer. He fought the good fight for about 8 years. He was tough. I am young. It is awful pain. But, even though I still find myself in a pit at time, there are a few things I'd like to share with you that help me out. Please let it be known, I am not always sad.

I went to group therapy to deal with my grief and a pastor came in on Wednesdays and talked with us. These are three things he shared with us...one is from the Bible, the others are from him. His name is Dr. Craig Overmeir.

First....when you feel like you just can't take it anymore, close your eyes and say "be still and know that I am God"... I think it is in the book of James. I heard from someone once too...maybe it is from the Bible also....if God were small enough to understand, he wouldn't be big enough to worship. So, when you feel you soul is breaking, be still...know God is perfect...God is good...he won't hurt you.

Second....Imagine yourself in a pit of quicksand (the grief). You are sinking, struggling to say afloat, gasping for breath, searching for solid ground to cling to....you must reach your hands up to get out....reach your hands to God. Sure he could make the quicksand disappear, but he wants you to reach for him....he will pull you out...that is his awesome promise....and remember...though it may feel heavy...quicksand is mostly water...80 percent I think. If you just relax and float, not only will you not panic ---you will not sink. What I try to remember is that when you are grieving the heaviest...Satan makes way to attack you. He knows you are vulnerable. But I tell you the truth...REACH UP AND DON'T PANIC. I know it's easier said than done...but God WILL NOT let you sink.

Third....(this is a story).... One morning a man woke up before the sunrise, and decided to go for a walk. He walked and walked until he saw the sun coming up over the horizon. He looked out and saw a man standing in the middle of a field, so he walked out to him. The man was standing in front a sizzling, smoldering heap of ashes; a huge heap. The one man turned to the other and said, "Last night my grainery burned down to the ground. It is gone, and I am left with nothing. My livelihood is gone. BUT today, I have a better view of the sun.

I've relayed that story a few times and some people understand, some people don't. You might've lost your loved ones, but remember...you understand many things better now. You have a better view. Some people wait around for their lives to get back to normal after someone they love has died. NEWS FLASH... it doesn't get back to normal.... but what a blessing. We are now given the opportunity to change our normals. My testimony is this...through my hurt and pain, I have found the Lord. I have been saved, I have been baptized. I have hope. I have love. Some say that is a cruddy way to find God, but there is no crud in my relationship with God.

MY PRAYER FOR US..THE GRIEVERS...(pray along)

Dear God, please bless us Lord, make us strong, help us to overcome these times of sorrow and grief and despair and hopelessness. Lord, we give our hearts to you, our fears, our anger. Fill us with joy that the people we love so dearly are now in a life free of greed, pride, hatred, impurity...and let us walk straight in your will so that we too will be rescued and reunited with them and with you.

Let these losses find their transformations to gained knowledge, that we may learn how to love even more deeply the people still walking this earth with us. Let us show kindness to every person, every creed, every race. Help us understand no matter how great the difference in lives, no matter how quick or how drawn out the death... it comes upon every creature...let us respect that and to make our time and the time of others as pleasant as possible, Lord.

Help us to stay strong and make a safe way for everyone...the young, the old, and all in between. Lord, teach us love even in our pain. Lean into us when we are too weak to lean into you. Lift us and hold us in your arms like little babies, and give us the love of a father that we so desperately need. Lord, lift this sinful world, and kiss it with hope, hope that we will be with you soon. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Andrea F., Age 19 --- Indiana

Last year my beautiful Nana (Esther) died. She was the most amazing women and I loved her more than words could ever explain. When she died I thought I would never get over it but time has healed and although the pain has lessened it is still there and I will never forget her. Here is a poem I wrote when she died and my Papa came to live with us as he could not cope on his own.

I watch him sit there
His eyes so cold
Those eyes tell a story
But it is left untold
I watch him hover
Around the house
Silently he moves
Quiet as a mouse
I watch as he laughs
I watch as he cries
But expressionless remain his eyes
An empty body
He's without a soul
Right through his heart there is a hole
Surrounded by a loving family
Deep down he is still alone
His life has changed so drastically
He has nowhere to call home
She was his everything
She was his all
Like a crutch she wouldn't let him fall
When she went his spirit and hope went to
Cause to keep spirits high at a time of tragedy
Is a difficult thing to do
I know one day they'll meet again
And once again his eyes will shine
His heart will fill his soul will replace
And together they'll walk into the land of grace.

I LOVE YOU NANA XXXXXX

Candice Smith
(In memory of Esther Tropp, my Nana forever)

Here is some thing for your helping with grief page.
Please, I do not wish to have my name used, thank you.

TO MY DEAREST FAMILY:


Some things I'd like to say ... but first of all to let you know that I arrived okay. I'm writing this from Heaven where I dwell with God above where there's no more tears or sadness, there is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night. That day I had to leave you when my life on Earth was through God picked me up and hugged me and He said "I welcome you.

It's good to have you back again you were missed while you were gone as for your dearest family they'll be here later on. I need you here so badly as part of My big plan, there's so much that we have to do to help our mortal man".

Then God gave me a list of things He wished for me to do and foremost on that list of mine is to watch and care for you. And I will be beside you every day and week and year and when you're sad I'm standing there to wipe away the tear. When you lie in bed at night, the days chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on Earth and all those loving years, because you're only human they are bound to bring you tears. But do not be afraid to cry, it does relieve the pain. Remember there would be no flowers unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you of all that God has planned but if I were to tell you wouldn't understand. But one thing is for certain though my life on Earth is over. I am closer to you now than I ever was before.

And to my very many friends, trust God knows what is best. I'm still not far away from you I'm just beyond the crest. There are rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb, but together we can do it taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too, that as you give unto the World so the World will give to you. If you can help somebody who is in sorrow or in pain, then you can say to God at night my day was not in vain.

And now I am contented that my life it was worthwhile, knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile. So if you meet somebody who is down and feeling low, just lend a hand to pick him up as on your way you go.

When you are walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind, I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind. And when you feel the gentle breeze or the wind upon your face, that's me giving you a great big hug or just a soft embrace.

And when it's time for you to go from that body to be free, remember you're not going, you are coming here to me. And I will always love you from that land way up above, we'll be in touch again soon.
P.S. God sends His Love

Author Unknown
Sent in Anonymously

I lost my son over 6 years ago to cancer. He was 6 years old. This quote has always touched me, thought I would share.

"Those we love are with the Lord, and the Lord has promised to be with us. If they are with Him, and He is with us, they cannot be very far away."

Peter Marshall
Sent in by Lorie White --- Oregon

THE DEATH OF A CHILD

Sorry I didn't get to stay,
To laugh and run and play.
To be there by your side.
I'm sorry I had to die.

God sent me down to be with you,
To make your loving heart anew.
To help you look up and see
Both God and little me.

Mommy, I wish I could stay
Just like I heard you pray.
But all the angels did cry
When they told little me to say goodbye.

God didn't take me cause he is mad.
He didn't take me to make you sad.
But to give us both a chance to be.
A love so precious....don't you see??

Up here no trouble do I see.
And the pretty angels sing to me.
The streets of gold is where I play.
You'll come here too, mommy, someday.

Until the day you join me here,
I'll love you mommy, dear.
Each breeze you feel and see,
Brings a kiss and love from me.

Copyright © Sandy Eakle
Sent in by Nicole Dimberio --- Nebraska

HIS JOURNEY'S JUST BEGUN

Don't think of him as gone away-
his journey's just begun
life hold so many facets-
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost-
and he was loved so much.

Copyright © E. Brenneman
Sent in by Nicole Dimberio --- Nebraska

THE ANGEL

She was an angel sent from God
A joy to all a way of fun.

She made you laugh when you were down
She turned around an unwanted frown

To call her evil would be a lie
For she never, ever made you cry

Her jokes were droll
Her smile sweet
Her personality was really neat

If you needed a hand
She'd always have three
For she was always there
When the joy starts to cease.

A loving teacher
A wonderful friend
Too bad her world had to come to an end

Her character was bright
Her love sublime
She was a really good friend of mine

She closed her eyes for the very last time
Rose to heaven and said goodbye

And even though she has gone away
Her warmth is still deeply felt.

I hoped and prayed
She left anyway
But now I know
For she always said (and I agree)
"Everything Happens As It Should "

Copyright © 1999 Joshua St. John
In Loving Memory Of Miss Amy Roseann Burgess

MY LAST LETTER TO YOU, DAD

Dear Dad,

It has almost been a year now since God called you into Heaven. Even though you are now in a better place, I cannot help but continue to be torn up on the inside. The sudden news that I received; the fact that I could not attend your funeral; the fact that I never had a chance to say good-bye. Over this last year, I always thought I could deal with it. I guess I was wrong. It still tears me up that when I check for my email, there is still not one from you. So I thought that if I could write you one last time, maybe it will help me let go of some of the pain that still dwells inside of me.

You know, when Vivian's parents passed away on her suddenly, I had no way to know how bad it hurt. At the time, you and Mom were still alive. When Vivian got the news that her Mom passed away, I didn't know how to console her. I couldn't help her much other than to be beside her. When you lose someone you dearly love it hurts more than physical pain.

When I first heard that you were gone, I didn't know how I was supposed to react. I didn't know if I was supposed to cry or if I supposed to remain strong. I have always had a difficult time displaying emotions. I always prided myself on my ability to suppress what is really inside me. Many times, Vivian and Mom accused me of being a lot like you in that regard. I guess it's true. But through it all, you never had to tell me you loved me. You showed it. You gave it. Your love and support have always guided me. You were always there for me. You were always encouraging; especially after Vivian and I were married.

You always taught me to live my dreams. That no matter what I wanted, if I wanted it bad enough, I would find a way. You never gave me what I couldn't get on my own. Some people would say that you were mean-spirited. I would say that you taught me well. You taught me how to take care of myself and to take care of my family. The greatest satisfactions of my life so far have been those things that I did on my own. But during those times I did not make good decisions, you never put me down or say, "I told you so."

You would, instead, help pick me back up, point me in the right direction and send me on my way. I don't know if I've ever thanked you enough for the love and respect you have given me. But now I would like to. Thank you, Dad. Thank you for everything you've done and for everything you have meant to me.

When I found out that Vivian was about to have our third child, I knew what I needed to do. I sat down with Vivian and together, we decided that if it was a boy, his middle name would bear your name as a loving and living tribute to you. A part of his legacy will bear your name so that a part of you will continue to live. The memories I carry inside of me are forever.

I often reflect on my life now. I look back and see the similarities between my family and when I was growing up. I am so very fortunate to have had a very loving father and mother in my life. Not every kid gets that. I know that growing up, I may not have appreciated as much what I did have.

Now that I am the proud father of three wonderful and beautiful kids, I look back and I see myself much the same way I saw you. I have been accused of not displaying a whole lot of emotion, other than frustration. I guess that's true. But everyone around me realizes its just a certain passion inside of me to make sure that my family gets the best I can provide. One thing you have taught me is to never be satisfied with who I am, but to always strive to be better. Those closest to me will be the biggest benefactors.

Well Dad, I think that I must go for now. This will be the last letter that I will be writing for now. But I just wanted to tell you one last time how much I love you and how proud I am that you were, no are, my Dad. It is said any fool can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a "Dad". Well, you are special. I can only hope that I am half a dad to my kids that you were to me. I have learned a lot from you that I know help me to raise a family that I can, and am, proud of. Thank you again. May God always bless you.

Copyright © 1999 Michael D. Mc Cullough

 

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