Prisoner of Hope – Hope

part 4 …….

I was thinking about what to write next when a memory popped up from many years ago.  Our family was living in a small community when a local young man committed suicide.  It was devastating.

We attended the memorial with most of the town in attendance.  The young youth pastor who spoke at the memorial service said something quite interesting.  He talked about death and how in America we are sheltered from death.  We don’t even see our meat slaughtered.  It’s all done somewhere else and put in neat packages.  It doesn’t really resemble something that was once walking around.

I’m not trying to make light of death, by no means.  And he wasn’t either.  We are a society that tends to “look the other way”, so to speak.  We see it in movies and video games far more than in real life.  We shelter our children from some of reality.

But, when death comes to you it is very scary to face it.  I lost my father at a young age and never got to say goodbye.  I was only about 4 years old but was left home.  That was the way our family dealt with things.  We lost a dear friend at the age of 21 and went to the funeral home with his parents for the final goodbye before cremation.  It was surreal.  I even touched him.  He was cold. It was sad.  And we said goodbye.

When we lost our daughter I was getting fretful over the fact of seeing her lifeless.  When her body arrived at the funeral home from California we were told we shouldn’t see her.  I remember our daughter-in-law asking why not?  We were told by the kindest man, with tears in his eyes, about how she looked after rock and structures had disfigured half her face.  I was good with that.  I have the most beautiful memory of her joyful face forever imprinted in my mind. I am thankful for that.  I know there are many who do not have that.

Death is never easy.  Loss is always difficult.  but these words of Emily Dickinson say so much about hope.

 Hope is always there.  Hope can be your anchor through the hardest of times.  It keeps you going and keeps you strong.

to be continued ………..


Prisoner of Hope – Grief – Like Catching a Wave



Part 3 …….

Grieving is a strange thing.  I’ve always thought of it only associated with death.  But as life revolved around me I began to see that there is a lot more to it then I thought.

When my children began to leave home I noticed a loss, of sorts.  The first two left but I still had two in school at home.  But as they grew and spoke of dreams and leaving the loss was getting a little bigger.  I knew they had to fly.  My husband and I tried our best to instill in them who they are and encourage them in their dreams.  We, by no means, wanted them to stay with us forever .  We knew they had to go and test the waters of adulthood on their own, but also knowing mom and dad were just a phone call away.

I’ve observed and experienced loss in others and myself and found there are different degrees of loss and grief.  Grief is a natural process of life.  We can grieve over the loss of a car or other object or even a job.  Death, of course, is the most hurtful.  The loss of an incredible friendship or relationship to the loss of a pet and hardest the death of a loved one.

Our children growing up and leaving home can be grieved.  We need to allow ourselves to grieve.  Denying it can be even more painful.  I’ve found it’s easier to go with it when it hits.

Growing up near the ocean gave me a picture of grief.  I always wanted to surf but never grabbed that opportunity.  I use to want to be Gidget (the Sally Fields TV version).  Instead I love to watch surfing movies or the surfers wait and catch their waves.  The waves come in sets.  In between you have a waiting period.. Much like grief.  I found I can go days and at times even weeks and no feeling of grief for our daughter.  But then a new set comes. And I can’t ignore those waves.  Oh I could ignore them but then they are more painful. Even a wipeout of sorts.  So, I just grab the grief and ride it through.  So much better and I come out feeling really good.

It doesn’t mean I don’t miss her.  It shows no disrespect or hardened heart toward those we love.  It’s what I found happens inside of me.  Please know that I don’t  take death or loss lightly.  I just know that this life can be really long and miserable if I can’t move forward.  I have to move forward.  Standing still, trapped in a moment of great pain, doesn’t help the rest of those that I love.

Having others in my life who have lost and have chosen to move forward help me also.  Once we share our stories we never have to mention it again.  There is a solid understanding between us.  And when we feel that punch or the wave of grieve may hit unexpectedly we have each other if needed.  It’s a good feeling.  Others are crucial to our life on the earth.  They bring us more hope.

I so want to bring hope to others.  It breaks my heart how much people can hurt.  I know my daughter had that same desire for others.  I count it as a legacy to carry on her heart.  She was getting ready to leave her friends in S. California and go to Seattle with the intention to assist in HIV/AIDS Hospice – bringing hope and comfort to those suffering.

What are you anchored in?  It’s sad, in a way, to find where our strength lies when faced with a difficult situation.  But that is one of life’s tests.  My anchor is in my faith in Christ, my hope in Him as a friend who can carry me through any joy or difficulty.  He helps me dance in this life.

to be continued …………


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