In late July of 2010, I received a phone call that my dad had dropped off the radar while flying his single engine airplane in the North West Territories of Canada. The amazing Canadian Search and Rescue team worked tirelessly for 5 of the longest days of my life. Finally, after discovering his whereabouts they declared he had died on impact. From that first phone call to now I can’t help but get a huge lump in my throat and fight back a stream of tears, a flood of emotion, because in the past 7 months I have been learning to grieve.
I have had the privilege of watching my mom gracefully grieve the loss of her best friend and husband. She fell in love with him at the sweet young age of 19 and they built 48 years of memories together. She has been setting a beautiful example for me on grieving. There are times when she is weepy and misses her life partner, but she always remembers the good. She doesn’t wallow in her sadness but she rejoices in the love that they had. She allows herself to grieve, but she has trained her heart and mind to be thankful and remember all the good times that we had with him. She tells me that we can be thankful that he did not suffer. She reflects on how he loved his life! He was at good place with all of his relationships with his children. We all knew he loved us and he knew we loved him. He was healthy and he died doing what he loved. She does not let me forget that he lived a long, full, and wonderful life and we have so much for which to be thankful. She graciously grieves and gently leads me down the path of embracing our love for him, while holding on to the good. There is no place for bitterness. No “why me”, no “it’s not fair”, no, “I can’t survive” or “I won’t make it.” There is hope in the life we still have and there is thankfulness for his life. She knows that he would want us to go on and enjoy LIVING our lives. She gently tilts my head towards the sky in search of the sunshine in the midst of the rain.
I have learned to be thankful and remember the good in grief while still allowing myself to be real. I have cried and leaned on the strength of family, friends, and mentors. I have allowed myself the space I needed to grieve. I also have taken my thoughts captive. I think about where my mind rests and what I choose for my focus. My mom has always taught me to see the good in life. The older I am the more thankful I am for this valuable training on life perspective that she has given me. I have always been a big fan of scripture memory. For me it gives me strength and hope. It helps me to redirect my thoughts with truth. A bit of wisdom God offers us on the state of our hearts and minds, even when we are flooded with emotions, is in Philippians 4:8. I have made you two scripture memory cards. You can print them off. I suggest you print them on card stock. You can print one on each side and make a double-sided scripture card. There is great truth and wisdom in this verse. Let it soak in. Write it down. Meditate on it.
We would love to hear from you! I thought of a bunch of questions that I would love for you to answer in our comment section below this post.
Have you ever been in a flood of emotions?
What has helped you cope?
From Philippians 4:8 below:
Which of these bolded words stands out to you? Why?
What do these words mean to you?
Does the dictionary say anything about these words that strike a chord in you?
What do you think is noble?
What do you find compelling or gracious?
When you think of lovely or excellent things what comes to mind?
Please take time to practice thinking about the things in these verses. Mom, thanks for training me to look for the sunshine in life! You have given me a wonderful gift, especially when it rains. I love you!
Happy Friday! These cards are my gift to you today!