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When Our Grief Overwhelms

Last night I sat on an open field watching my daughter play soccer with a gorgeous sun and cool breeze filtering onto me. Perfect evening. Except my mind focused on my friend’s son who I knew was close to his last breath.

Then my brain flitted to my son Levi who was celebrating the eighth anniversary of his Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. I caught sight of my daughter kicking the ball past her defender.

The intricacies of life.

The young man passed away last night, right before Levi’s last blood sugar test for the day. The glucose level was perfect. I prayed it would stay that way through the night and tried not to think about loss of life.

We strive to control and care for our children, but, ultimately, their tender bodies are out of our hands.

Six weeks ago, my friend’s son was in remission. Then cancer crept in and quickly stole life. Knowing diabetes can do the same to my son, I often ask God to prepare me if it ever happens to us.

But how can we truly be prepared for the loss of a child?

We must grieve. We must hurt. We must question. That’s who we are as loving, emotional creatures. May God strengthen us to glorify him through the pain.

I’m ill-equipped to answer why. The amalgam of emotion overwhelms. I wonder if my friend slept last night. Can she nurture the siblings in spite of her loss? Her son blessed many. Does that fact comfort her?

The heart heals over time. Fear never fully diminishes but is curbed. Life sometimes seems an injustice because our finite minds lack wisdom to grasp the complexities.

When I need to be reminded of my place and God’s, I turn to the book of Job in the Bible. Most of the book covers Job’s losing his family, livelihood, and health. Yet, he refuses to curse God. The final chapters are powerful. We are reminded of our place in creation.

“Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the ends of the earth…” (Job 38:12-13a)

The sun that set last night as hearts broke was placed by our all-powerful Creator. The same Creator who commanded the dawn into place this morning. We are small but not insignificant. The hands that created us wrap us in comfort and heal us.

I can barely make sense of conflicting and polarized emotions occurring simultaneously, but I know the creative and powerful maker of a world much larger than I can prepare, strengthen, and ease all pain.

I’m thankful we do not need to journey on our own.

Comments (8)

  1. Maryellem
    June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm · Reply

    Very well put, Kelly. “Conflicting and polarizing emotions” covers so many aspects of life. To your point our God is El Roi, the God who sees me. Thanks for your thought provoking words of wisdom.

    • Kelly
      June 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm · Reply

      Very true. It’s rather difficult to navigate at times, though.

  2. Debbie Watley
    June 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm · Reply

    Praying for you, my friend.

    • Kelly
      June 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Deb!

  3. Connie Koehler
    June 8, 2016 at 9:51 pm · Reply

    So beautifully written. Our children are on loan to us. They are the Lord’s and when it is their time to go home, He will call them. It is hard to trust the Lord at these times.

  4. shannon m
    June 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm · Reply

    I hope that you are working towards writing more…always enjoy your insight.

    • Kelly
      June 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm · Reply

      I am. Thanks!

  5. Stephen
    June 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm · Reply

    “We are small but not insignificant.” So well said! Thank you!

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