Monday, June 20, 2016

On living through the first six.


Six months. It's been six months since we sat at his bedside as he was in final hours. Six months of heart break, joy, tears. Six months of wishing he was here, thanks for his restful place, wonder at how He works inside of tragedy. It took me six months to return to his grave. It took me six months to walk the many steps from the parking lot to his place on the small hill in the cemetery. It took me six months, but it was perfectly timed with Father's Day.

I've spent the last twenty-four hours thinking about his last day. I've run through the words I spoke to him, the prayers we said over him, the affections poured out on us and I end up in tears. I'm indefinitely and completely thankful for the happy ending that came with our hard, ugly journey. I said I loved him. I asked him to handpick his grand kids for us. I promised to watch over my Mama. I ran my hands over his salt-and-pepper hair and marveled over the ways we'd all changed. 

Dying is hard, blessed work. 

Dying is work that brings bolder color and grander shape to life. It emboldens your spirit, breaks your heart, and reveals all the strength you didn't know you possessed. Dying is work that tests your endurance and proves your grit. As you're drowning in loss, His people come alongside you in unexpected, glorious ways. Trays of bagels with cream cheese, caffeinated sodas at midnight, good morning cups of coffee all make holding space a dream. 

Living is full, grateful worship. 

Living is worship when you know what dying can do. It is a testament to those who came before you, to the track that was laid in order for your to drive your course, the opportunity to honor a legacy within which you were born. Living is worship over the way hearts grow, break, mend. I thought I'd cry or kneel down or rub my fingers over the engravings in his stone. I thought I'd pour out the heartbreak of infertility or the joy of white water rafting or renew the promises I made when he was passing. But I stood -still and scanning the emerald grasses of the town cemetery. I stood and felt a deep, earnest thanks for the last six months. Thanksgiving for the opportunity to walk beside a dying man, for the wagons that have drawn around our family by His grace, for the way I've learned how to weather a storm. 

Dying is hard, blessed work. And living is full, grateful worship. 

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