Grief is strange in so many ways. It hits you when you least expect it. A song, a smell or a date on the calendar triggers the sweetest of memories. Then leaves you dangling midair between its comfort and pain.
I thought I’d never get used to life without her. My big sister was like the support beams in a tall building. Holding me up so I wouldn’t fall apart. Propping me up when I did.
I’ve been trying to adjust to life without her for three years now. Even though the phone calls and visits are no more, she’s still with me. In a memory or a dream or an awareness she’s watching from above.
Her influence remains. I see a glimpse of her in the mirror. Never thinking we looked alike. But there she is staring back at me.
Most of all, she’s still in my heart. Influencing my decisions to stay close to Jesus. Pray constantly and read His Word every day. Because that’s what she did.
No one can replace who my sister was to me. So when I miss her the most, I begin to thank God for all the ways she enriched my life. That helps me move on.
It’s horrible losing someone you love but to escape that pain would have meant life without her. The pain of loss is worth it because of love.
My suffering seems trivial in the light of others who endure sudden tragic deaths. But Jesus makes all loss bearable. What hope is ours! The promise of being reunited with our loved ones some day.
If you’re in the midst of your own grief right now, consider this quote by Hazel Hoskins.
“Grief never ends…but it changes.
It is a passage…not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
nor a lack of faith.
It is the price of having deeply loved.”
That’s why I’m comforted on this third anniversary of my sister’s passing. Grief is not a place to stay but a place to pass through. A place of growth where we begin to understand joy and loss are part of life. And the price of having deeply loved is well worth it.