Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Hollow Spots of Grief

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” ~ C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Normally, I would be wrapping a gift and baking a chocolate cake for Lindsay’s birthday today…anticipating the glee she showed with any celebration…maybe surprising her with balloons like I did last year…
…signing a sparkling, colorful birthday card,  
We love you, Lindsay! Hope you have a wonderful day! 
But there’s nothing normal about life now…just hollow spots where normal once resided. 
It’s been almost nine months since my daughter died—the same length of time I carried her in my body before giving birth to her thirty-four years ago. Funny, it seemed like a long time then—an eternity now. 
I watched a movie a few years ago called “Holes.” The premise involved youths in a juvenile detention camp digging holes for the warden in search of a buried treasure. Holes of all sizes dotted the desert landscape for miles around the camp. Year after year, more holes were dug, the treasure seemingly just one hole away, yet ever elusive. 
My life feels like that desert—stretching out around me endlessly—filled with holes. Just about the time I think I’ve got a handle on my grief and perhaps back on level land, another hole appears. Not all bad ones—sometimes beautiful, but bittersweet memories I cherish. Then other days, like Mother’s Day and her birthday, have the potential to drag me under.  
I cry out to the only One who truly understands—the One who watched his own son die on a cross over two thousand years ago. You might be tempted to rebut, “Yeah, but God knew he was going to raise Christ from the dead.”  
But, as Christians, we also have the promise of our loved one’s resurrection in heaven—and the day of our own homecoming when we join them.  
Lindsay was a beautiful, precocious child who dreamed big and had the tenacity to go out and try to make those dreams come true. Life looked bright from where we sat, the landscape dotted only with hope.  
We never saw the holes…until it was too late. 
Now her death is spread over everything, and likely to some degree, it always will be. I seek to find joy in my memories of her contagious laughter about something silly, her sparkling eyes when she dreamed, and the indelible imprint my daughter made on my life in so many ways. I cling to the hope I have in eternity. I praise God that ours is a temporary life, one to be cherished and lived, but one we’ll shrug off some day, like a butterfly does a cocoon before it takes flight. 
Lindsay’s soul flew away last August.  
Until we meet again… 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4