“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” ~ I Thessalonians 4:13
Every now and again, grief rears its ugly head up and comes roaring back into my life, fresh as that first awful morning in 2010. When it does, I once again face the brokenness, the baffling loss, the questions that have gone unanswered.
But what scares me most are the fading memories.
The sound of a laugh. The touch of a hand. The whispered voice in the silence of night. Sounds, moments, words – things I wish I could bottle up forever and clutch close to my heart, never letting go.
When someone is gone, it gets harder every day to keep the memory sharp. You want to recall all of the little details of a life shared, but discover one day that living life is crowding those memories out. What do you do then?
I know the answer is keep going, looking up at the One who made all of us, but some days it’s harder than others.
We know from this verse that we do not grieve as the world grieves – and for that I am thankful a million times over. Losing a loved one is terrible enough, and I know that my loss is only a separation for a time, not forever.
If you know someone who is grappling with loss, please know that it never truly goes away. The loss in their life may not be recent, but is always present. They need your love and prayers far beyond any set amount of time. Because when a loved one goes Home, it is those of us left living here on earth that have the much harder task.