Earlier this year, my grandfather passed away at the age of 89. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him since he lived out of state, but I have very fond memories from my childhood of when he and my step-grandmother would visit.
My grandfather was pleasant to be around. He was deeply intrigued and had a fondness for airplanes. During one of his visits to Florida, we ate at a restaurant called 94th Aero Squadron. It’s a restaurant with a casual aviation theme that allows its diners to listen to air traffic control and watch planes take off from Miami International Airport. His excitement and joy upon arriving felt like watching a kid light up in their favorite toy store. We sat and ate dinner with headsets on, listening to the air traffic control directing planes to land and take off. That day with my grandfather made me want to discover my own passions and hobbies that I would forever cherish.
Grief is grief, and I was confused.
His death was not sudden; we knew his health was declining. People say that losing someone is better when you have time to prepare for it, and the f
act that he was able to grow old is supposed to be a comfort. However, I don’t think you can ever feel “prepared” for the loss of a loved one. Grief is grief, and it brings a unique yet universal mixture of emotions along with it.
I experienced the common sorrow that’s expected after losing a family member: shock, anger, confusion. I also felt a lot of anxiety worrying about my mother and how she was taking the loss of her father. There were a lot of family dynamics going, and everyone was processing his death in their own way. I feared that some of their emotions might hinder my mom’s ability to grieve. When I did try to console her, she explained that she was sad she would never be able to pick up the phone and have a conversation with her father again. She expressed that she would miss him deeply, but she was holding onto her faith in the Lord. She said that even though she may not understand His ways, she must trust in them.
It was hard for me not to be able to comfort her in person since I was studying away at University during the time of his passing. Sometimes a phone call isn’t enough. You want to physically be there for a person. I was also frustrated that I couldn’t accompany her and my father to the funeral. All of this weighed down on me. I had an empty feeling—that I should be doing more; I should be there for my mother. But how?
We may not understand, but the Lord does.
Just when I thought I was going to lose my mind and snap from feeling like I was being pulled every direction, I recalled a Bible verse that popped up on my phone earlier that day. This verse, in one reading, calmed the inner turmoil and unrest: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).
These were the Lord’s words, and they made me realize something I had been missing the whole time. God wanted me to know that He is our biggest support system. I needed that simple reminder, and it came at just the right time. The instant I read this verse, relief wrapped around me and comforted me. It was from that moment that I knew God was with me through every step of this grieving process. And I realized that if He was with me, He most certainly was with my mother. I then found the same faith my mother spoke of in trusting the Lord and His process.
For more articles of encouragement, check out:
Battered Faith: Holding on to Hope Even When You Struggle
When You’re Desperate to Know the Reason for Your Pain
Finding Your Grit Just When You Are Sure You Don’t Have Any
What Your Grieving Friend Really Wants You to Know
True Beauty is Found in a Woman’s Strength
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