God's Word for Today

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flashback Friday

Mocha with Linda shared this "I've had our bloggy friend Lidna on my heart as she is grieving the loss of a dear friend. And while I don't want this to be a gloomy or painful Flashback Friday, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on how we experienced grief in our early years."

I think we all share in Linda's grief over the loss of a dear friend. As we all reflect on how we approach the grieving process let us all take a moment to pray for Diane's family and friend as the remember the person that they loved who has gone on before them.

I have to share with all of you that when I think of this week's prompt I look upon it with a different point of view. One of the things I learned from my Stephen Ministry training was that the majority of people shy away from talking about the grieving process or the topic of death. The other thing I learned is that those who are going through the process although they may not ask for it actually want to talk about those loved one who have died. It's OK to talk about a lost loved one, it's ok to ask a grieving person questions about their loved one, more times than not they really do want opportunities to talk about the ones they loved and lost.  With that said I move on to this weeks Flashback.

How old were you (approximately) when you attended your first funeral?

I think my first funeral was for my grandfather. I was in my early 20's and I had just moved into my first apartment. It's weird what you remember. I had just gotten home from work. I noted my sisters car in the parking lot in front of my apartment. I thought this was odd, but I was starving, being the financially challenged individual that I was I probably did not have any money for lunch nor did I have the organizational skill to remember to pack my lunch so by the end of the day I was really really hungry. I raced up the stairs and blew into the apartment. I ran to the refrigerator and grabbed a container of banana yogurt. I was viciously attacking the cup of yogurt when my sister explained to me why she had come over.

Grandpa had died.

He had been battling cancer for some time and we knew it was close but it did not lessen the pain and the shock of the news. I remember how quickly the taste of the banana yogurt turned  from something wonderfully delicious because I was so hungry into something I had to force down my throat and then I just lost those hunger pangs.


Did you experience any significant loss(es) in your growing up years?

I can't say that I experienced any significant losses as a result of death as a young child. However the divorce of my parent was a big loss for me and dramatically change the course of my life and our family!

The most significant loss for me came just after my daughter was born. She was born in April and we were away on vacation in September for the Labor Day weekend. I received a call from my mom informing me that my very best friend's three year old son had tragically died in a drowning accident in their backyard pool.

Devastation is not an adequate word to describe how I felt. It was as if I had lost one of my own children. To this very day I still feel his loss in a very profound way. That experience changed me in a very different way. I showed me a whole new way to be a friend. I gave me a very real picture of exactly what grief really is. I learned patience, I learned perspective, I learned persistence, I learned endurance, I learned so many things as I walked with my friend through her pain and grief! It showed me the true healing process and how it impacts the very core of who one is!

My friend and I just celebrated the birth of her first granddaughter a few months ago and we are both learning about being grannies together. We have our moments when we are deep in conversation. We remember her son and the tears will gently fall as we share our memories of him when he was little. Life moves on but you learn to hold on to those precious memories. One day you look back and you realize that memories that once were too bitter sweet to remember without a painful ache have turned into a precious treasure, painful but still a treasure none the less!

What were your early impressions of death and dying? And while I do not intend this in any irreverent way, are there any amusing memories associated with a death or funeral?

When my BIL's father passed away we drove up to the funeral. My son was probably about 4 or 5 years old. He was familiar with Granny Ruth and Grandpa Wayne, we had spent time with them when they had come to visit my sister and her husband. I explained to my son that when he saw Granny Ruth he needed to go up and give her a hug and tell her how sorry he was. His response has always been one of those moments that as a parent you just never forget. Just as quick as the words came out of my mouth he piped up "Why should I say I'm sorry I didn't do anything wrong!" Out of the mouths of babes!

If you have kids, how have you handled this subject with them? Feel free to share as vulnerably or as shallowly as you want!

Having recently experience a situation that brought the reality of death to our doorstep in an up close and personal way with my own daughter, it was one of those moments as a parent that you hope you never have to face. I saw no reason for falsehoods or shielding her from the reality of the situation. Death is real and there are some things in this world that simply make no sense and defy explanation.


We wept together as we grieved over the loss of Aubrey, and we have continued to pray for peace for his family comfort for us as we miss him.

As we read all these tender memories let us all be in a mode of perpetual prayer for all those who are struggling with the grieving process.

MT 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn,
   for they will be comforted.

PS 119:28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
   strengthen me according to your word.

PS 30:5 ...weeping may remain for a night,
   but rejoicing comes in the morning.


Y'all head over to Mocha with Linda @ http://mochawithlinda.blogspot.com/ for more Flashback Friday!





skoots1mom said...

divorce: amazing the impact
"showed me a whole new way to be a friend"....the beginnings of your Christ-like walk: patience, perspective,persistence,endurance,

too bitter sweet...turned into a precious treasure, thank you Jesus!

well said, sista!

Mocha with Linda said...

What a sweet post. And I went and read your post about Aubrey. So heartbreaking.

Thanks for sharing your heart.

Mocha with Linda said...

Oh, and your son's comment about saying he was sorry cracked me up!

rita said...

Thank you for sharing. I read about Aubrey too. I've heard of Stephen Ministry from a SIL in Wisc. Wonderful training and soooo true what you share.
Thanks for reminder to be in prayer as we read.
I did not share anything as deep as yours.
Thanks again.

barbarah said...

You're so right that people who have lost a loved one want to talk about them and share memories, and that the painful memories and anniversaries at first later become sweet times of remembrance.

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