I don’t always grieve, but when I do I am more sarcastic than usual.
This week, seemed to be a week that many people I know lost someone close to them or have been grieving something or someone. I have been following posts and status updates about treatments and symptoms and courses of treatment and whatnot and sending up prayers for people I’ve never met and hoping and praying for miracles and complete healing. Their stories, Facebook pages and video logs have brought me to tears. Seeing the outpouring of love they are surrounded by with friends and family members has been so touching. Knowing of those families who support and encourage them willing to travel thousands of miles to support their friends and stay up with them in the middle of the night just to be there or just to cry with them if need be makes me want to be a better person. Watching two adult men escort my pastor onto the stage for him to deliver our greeting because at just about the three year mark of his diagnosis with Multiple System Atrophy, his legs are beginning to fail (you can go to www.gregrohlinger.com to read the story of facing his greatest fear) made my eyes well up with tears and my breathing shallow.
Then mid week, I noticed something wrong with our kids pet fish “Golden Blackie.” He is named that because he is a goldfish with a black spot on his head. Don’t you just love the way kids see things? Anyway, GB (as I call him for short, sometimes even just “Geebs”) was kind of just floating around and his scales seemed to be kind of peeling. He looked pale and wasn’t swimming all over like he usually does. Immediately, I took action and cleaned out his little fish bowl thinking that maybe it was just a dirty bowl – even though we had just cleaned it. Then, just like you see in the movies, I got right up in his fishy face and said “you hang in there Golden, don’t you leave us. We still need you!! Don’t you quit on us now!” Don’t laugh. I was totally serious. I could not let that fish die.
You see, most of the time we are so out of touch with our grief. We are out of touch with the fact that the reason we are a little touchy, more sarcastic, quick to anger, mopey, edgy, or any other manner of emotions is because we are grieving something. When I spoke those words to our pet fish, whom I have only known for eight months, I was touching on my fear of loss. I am afraid to lose my kids pet fish because I am afraid to see them grieve. Seeing others grieve reminds me that I too have much to lose. I am afraid of losing those who are close to me and those who I love with the kind of love that can make your heart burst. I am afraid of my kids ever having to lose me, or their daddy, their grandparents, cousins or…their pet fish. I am afraid to hurt and I am afraid to lose.
I think we all are at some level. Grieving and mourning are tough.
Our fish is fine. But this week, two different young mothers lost the loves of their lives and their kids lost their daddy. Another young wife, mother and sorority sister of mine began chemo and began sharing her thoughts on her Facebook page, “Running Through Chemo.” A sweet toddler with the most infectious smile and sweetest eyes took a stay in the hospital to treat a fever that comes after several rounds of chemo and after a surgery to remove his neuroblastoma, you can pray for Zane on their Facebook page, “Pray For Zane” and Mary, the woman who always had a smile for you as she handed you your church bulletin before service left her mark on this world too.
It is hard to grieve and mourn those who are still around you and still with you. We don’t naturally have that sense of urgency. But we can cherish our moments. Even the hard ones.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4