Grief As A Wave

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Grief. This is always something I’ve never dealt with well. A year ago yesterday, my great granddad passed away just 3 weeks after I had returned to Ecuador. I was in Cuenca renewing my visa and wondering how on earth I was going to be moving in a couple days when I got the news. I didn’t expect it to hurt as much as it did. I wasn’t super close to him, but he was a constant in my life. Something that had always been there. But then one day… he just wasn’t.

Reality didn’t hit until I went home in September and when I went to his house, he wasn’t there. It was like finding out that your childhood home, the one place you always expected to be able to go back to, the one thing that was always there was suddenly erased from the map. The memories stayed, but the physical place, the town, the house,  your favorite tree, all of it was just… gone. And all you have left are the memories of what used to be.

You see, grief is like the ocean. Most days are okay. The tide is normal, the current won’t pull you away too far. But then the waves come and crash over you and confuse you to the point that you don’t know which way is up or down. The current pulls you farther out and further down and before you know it you’re drowning in a sorrow that you don’t even understand. Then when you reach the shore, when you realize that these waves have taken away that constant, that home that was always there… the memories flood over you like high tide trying to pull you back in. But then it stops. And everything goes back to normal for a while. Until the hurricane decides to come once again.

I found myself in the same place yesterday as I was a year ago. I found myself hiding in the bathroom at church crying as the waves crashed over me, as the tears flooded and I was powerless to stop them. I found myself asking the same questions I had a year ago, feeling that same pain over again as the memories came flooding back. The same emotions, the same memories, the same questions. And honestly I still struggle with the pain of regret and I know it’s a process but I wish it could speed up a little because even though it isn’t constant when the pain comes… it hits like a hurricane.

I know that God is faithful to heal. I know He’s always with me. He’s the one that guides me back to shore. And even though I question Him at times about why He did what He did, and have even gotten mad… I know that He knows best. And even if I don’t understand, I don’t need to. I just need to trust Him.

So much can change in a year. But then some things don’t change at all.

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