Living through the seasons of grief.
So I’ve been thinking lately. After passing the 30 year threshold of our son’s death, I am pondering how our lives have been forever changed by the death of our son. We carry a tote bag of unmet hopes and dreams. We live with an internal clock that alerts us annually to memories surrounding our son’s death. A low grade fever of grief spikes from time to time and we ache with the pain. ~ only some of the ways we are changed.
It seems also fair to explore how we have been changed by the living. The lives of family and friends, and maybe even perceived enemies also generate change agents in us. I am a better person because of those who put positive energy into my world; my grandchildren, my living children, friends who share their wisdom and care. I am changed by the events of the world. For example, travel is forever altered since 911. Relating to one another is forever changed through technology. Economics are changed when unscrupulous financial giants make self seeking choices that leave millions of individuals struggling to maintain their life styles.
Point being, life happens. Death happens. Change happens. So maybe it is how we adjust to or accept the change that matters most.
I recently read a poem that beautifully told of how a mighty tree is buffeted by the elements, yet still remains upright. The author’s observation was:
Byron De Bolt
And so my friends, it seems to make sense that we live as mighty oaks, allowing both the suffering and the good of our lives to create strength of character. Our grief, when left in the heart and hands of the One who loves us most, is sure to become evidence of the magnificent creative power of God. He alone turns ashes into beauty and creates good out of chaos.
Just a few days ago my husband and I sat on an old wooden bench in a small country cemetery remembering the day we did the unthinkable: buried our sweet son. Things have changed; we have changed, and will continue to change. And that is why the oak trees in this spot speak to me. They have grown larger, spreading their branches further. They have weathered storms, dead branches are the ones that fall, but as long as their roots go deep, the trees continue as living testimonials that God still enables us to thrive and be productive.