Grief is not something that any of us want to walk through. It’s not something we want to think about. But it happens. Some lose children, some lose mothers. Some lose fathers and some lose grandparents. Regardless of any circumstance, we will all lose someone close to us at some point in life.
Grief comes in waves most of the time.
It will hit you out of nowhere, when you least expect it and at the worst time. Just when you think a good day is here, grief knocks at your door.
I honestly do not feel qualified to write this post but I do feel led to share what the Holy Spirit spoke to me a few weeks ago after losing my grandmother. “Nana” (pronounced “NawNaw”) got sick in late June and passed away October 9th in 2019. Just a month prior to me writing this post.
I was so blessed to witness the relationships she made and how close she was with so many of her friends. These friends weren’t just friends she made along life’s narrow road, these friends are friends that she has had since high school. I saw them come and go through these months and make sure she was taken care of. My mom and aunt dropped everything to be by her side while she went through treatments.
I cannot put into words what it did for my heart when I was sitting in her living room one afternoon, nursing my baby, and heard two of her friends say it was time for ‘the foot rub’. They literally came over to rub her feet daily. What a beautiful act of service and love. I melted in that chair as I watched these ladies love on my grandmother and take care of her.
The same way Jesus washed the disciples feet, these ladies were rubbing my grandmother’s.
My husband stayed by her side the night before she died holding her hand, singing to her, praying over her and asking the only question that mattered in those last moments, “Do you have Jesus in your heart?” I saw (I wasn’t there but was told by another family member) my husband step into something that I have never seen him do. Times like these cause your “true colors” to come out. I am proud to say that his colors are vibrant!
As I prayed the morning before the funeral, I heard the Lord say that this change is actually good for our family. That’s hard to hear when you’ve lost someone that was the glue to every family function and orchestrated every holiday without question. Nana’s house was the one house you knew would stay consistent and sound. But God spoke it. So, by faith I believe it. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. He turns everything around for his good and every life taken becomes apart of his greater plan!
The next few days after the funeral were hard. Memories flooded my mind. I could hear her laugh, see her smile, her gestures, and her quirks. She had a lot of them! I thought about the time we could have had together and how she won’t see my babies grow up. She loved my babies unconditionally.
But as I was standing in my bedroom one night, God asked me, “Why are you grieving your grandmother?”
When I heard that, I quickly thought about why I was truly grieving her. I was grieving the memories I had of her. I was grieving the things we had together. I was grieving the changes that will have to be made and the home that will no longer be the same.
My perspective began to change. One night while lying in bed, I felt a sudden shift over the spirit of grief while the Lord asked me another question. “Would you ever grieve over sending someone on their dream vacation?” No. “Then why are you grieving someone who is on the greatest vacation anyone could ever imagine?”
Since then, as soon as I feel grief rear its head, I quickly think of the dream vacation my grandmother is on. I’ve taken the thoughts captive and replaced them with where she is now and what she has gained. I hold on to the promise that “this change is good.”
The following Sunday a friend shared a dream she had. Her grandmother was picking out golden dresses in heaven. She had no idea my grandmother’s greatest passion was to shop. What a beautiful sight to think of my grandmother on her dream vacation, picking out the most beautiful golden dress she could dream of! She could not be happier. Why does God need my grandmother to pick out golden dresses in heaven? I don’t yet know, but he does.
One thing I do know……we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to have every tear wiped from our eyes. He will comfort you today.
After writing this blog one night, I felt the Lord say, “Finish it tomorrow.” Then my mother-in-law read someone’s post to me. Her name is Brandy. My mother in law had no idea I had just written this post on grief. This grandmother lost her grandson and wrote about how she is dealing with the grief by taking her thoughts captive.
“When we go through a traumatic event, many times we associate a sound, a smell, a visual to the event.
The morning we awoke to a nightmare on Earth, Rowan (Brandy’s grandson) not breathing and passing away, all I heard was screaming and crying. Ever since then anytime I hear crying or screaming, even when my kids are playing, it sends my heart into a panic and takes me right back to that morning. Another time it hits me is when my daughter calls and hesitates when I answer. My mind automatically goes to that morning and I jump to the conclusion she is in devestation-mode. Sometimes at night as I go to bed, I think of the night before that morning and how we could have never imagined what we were going to wake up to. For a moment, I fear what the next day might hold.
When this happens, my first instinct is to pray and ask for help… and you know what happens… I get comforted and peace enters back in the situation. I don’t allow myself to stay in that place of panic and fear. Why? Because it is a deep hole many are never able to climb back out of. I don’t assume I’m stronger than I might actually be.
I only share this to encourage you… you are not alone. EVERY one is dealing with something HARD. EVERY one is walking this thing called life out, one step at a time. Know your Creator. Know your power and authority through Jesus Christ. Know those who you can call to talk to when moments are too strong for you to handle alone. There is no shame in asking for help; in fact it shows great courage & strength.
You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem❤️ #BelieveIt” –Brandy Flanagan, Owner of Gym 101 in Gladewater, TX