Some things never get easier.
I grew up a pastor's kid and went to a lot of funerals. I can clearly remember the first funeral I went to. She was 101ish, a little old lady who had lived a long life. I was in 5th grade.
From that point on I went to countless funerals of congregation members. My great grandmother was the first of my relatives to die. I remember being dazed by all that was going on, but I did not cry. I did not know her. In 1995 I lost my Pop. I cried, a lot. I knew him.
The hardest funeral's though for me are the ones where it just doesn't seem fair. That life was cut too short too soon. The high school student who died in a car crash while her mother was driving on an icy road, my 9 month old niece who died of SIDS, my 15 year old cousin who drowned, my 8 year old niece who died from a chromosomal disorder. Those were the ones that I still get find myself wondering just what was God thinking?
When someone dies of old age we seem to mourn in a different way. It is almost as if the long lived life calms the grief of what is expected. But when someone dies before we think they should, mourning is filled with trying to make some sense of it all. We feel angry and cheated.
Within the last several months, death has faced many of my dear friends. My sweet friend who lost her twins, another friend whose husband died at 35, and another friend whose son was recently killed in Afghanistan. IT IS NOT FAIR!
It is hard to even name the emotions that surface and let them go. I do not believe that time heals these wounds. We adapt and learn to live in the what is now, but we are forever changed.
For some this change rest inside and is a silent reminder. For others though this change sparks them to a more passionate life. Spurring them to reach out to others, try new things, or do something they always wanted to do sooner than later.
I believe in a God that understands my grief. Who someday will allow us to see just what he was thinking. Who shares in my sorrows and does not waver in his love when I question.
What I understand more and more though is today is truly a gift.
Many wake up each morning to a masterpiece in the sky but rarely stop to appreciate it. The birds sing all day long while other music drowns out their beautiful natural melodies. We sit behind a computer inside missing out on the sun kisses that await us. We make promises to others for another day because we are too busy. It rains and we use an umbrella instead of dancing in the rain.
A whole world we rarely stop to see and enjoy.
There is nothing that can ever take away the grief. I choose though to consciously stop and appreciate more, be more aware of things around me, find the joy of each day, because there are just too many who were not gifted this day.