This month we are celebrating.
We are celebrating the declaration that my sister-in-law is now cancer free.
I am still trying to wrap my head around it.
I am filled with joy over this news and I know it is only by the hand of God that we are able to say those two words.
I am thrilled that God’s healing grace has fallen on Lynn and she gets to plan for her future. I am excited because we get to be part of that plan.
But it also has caused me to pause.
It has caused me to stop and consider those that haven’t been able to use those words and those who never had the chance to use them.
It’s not my place to question God on why some get another chance and some do not. God is in control and I am called to trust Him, regardless of the circumstances. His ways are greater than mine.
I am just so grateful for His healing and His plan for Lynn.
However, one of life’s universal and unavoidable experiences is to lose someone we love.
All who have lived and loved will lose cherished family and friends to death.
Whether early or late, suddenly or gradually, dramatically or peacefully, death comes for everyone. And when it comes for a loved one, our whole world can change in an instant, and we may wonder how we can ever go on.
I have lost more than my fair share, way too early. A brother, when I was ten years old. Bryan Blakely, my best friend from my childhood. Steve Schueren and Bob Emrich from my young adult years. All taken from this life way too soon.
Death can be so difficult to cope with and so difficult to understand. Moving forward can seem almost impossible at first.
But the only way to avoid such heartbreak would be to remove from life all loving relationships… we know that isn’t reality.
We all need loving and caring relationships in our life.
We need them so we can move forward in life.
So we do our best to do just that… move forward.
Little by little.
Piece by piece.
We attend to life’s daily demands.
We eat, work and sleep again.
We begin to gain some understanding, even peace.
We begin to gain strength.
And yet we never quite get back to normal.
Things won’t ever be just as they were — nor should they be.
Nothing can make up for the absence of someone we love. It would be wrong to try to find a substitute.
There will always be a gap… a hole… a place that feels empty.
We must hold out and see it through.
That sounds hard at first, but at the same time it is a great relief, for that gap, as it remains unfilled, preserves the bond between us and our lost loved one.
It helps us to keep alive our relationship with each other, even at the cost of pain.
It’s this delicate balance between holding on and letting go that gives life some of its bitter sweetness.
Because we know heartache and pain, we also know love and joy.
And it just so happens that often the more our hearts are broken with pain, the more open they tend to be, and thus more able to receive and give love.
Such love never dies.
Little by little… piece by piece… life goes on.