It’s no secret to anyone that this year has been a very difficult year of grief for many of my friends and I. Since last October, I know five individuals under the age of 40 who have died. And at this current moment, a friend’s wife is fighting for her life in the intensive care unit. It has been one of the most difficult years and I am weary from grief.
I understand that grief is a part of the ebb and flow of life. I know that eventually those I love will die. I am no stranger to death as both of my grandparents on my mom’s side have been gone 14 and 10 years respectively. I lost my elementary and high school best friend way too young. As a younger adult, one does not expect to lost friends way too soon and way too early. Yet that is the reality of life. Grief shows that we have loved and been loved.
Recently I was reading Concordia College professor Jacqueline Bussie’s new book Love without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions. In one of her chapters, she focuses solely on grief and one of the quotes continually is replaying in my heart and soul. The quote reads as follows: “All grief is love, and all love will someday cause you grief. Knowing this, grief tries to tempt us to never be so foolish as to love again. Granted, love is a seesaw. But I choose to hike up my skirt and climb aboard anyway, even if it’s unladylike, because reserve is for the dead, while soaring and splinters are for the living.”
That’s the beauty, isn’t it friends? God calls us to love each other despite our differences. God calls us to love without limits. A love that reminds us that love is worth it. God loved us so much that God sent God’s one and only Son into the world for each and every one of us. “For God so loved the world….(see John 3:16-17)
There are days that I experience the intense seesaw of love. But there are other days it feels like a swing blowing in the breeze. Love is something I am willing to fight for even when it involves me, in Jacqueline’s words, hiking up my skirt and climbing aboard anyway. It is this kind of love that allows us to soar.
It is also this kind of love that sometimes causes us to get splinters. These splinters are removable and we still can feel the tinge of the splinter being removed. And depending on how deep it is lodged, the pain can bring a grimace to our face or tears to our eyes.
Despite this kind of grief, no matter what, I want to remember those I have loved. I want to cling to the gifts and blessings they brought to my life. And even in the weary moments of grief, I want to continually remember what it means to love and be loved.
For it is in the loving and living, that I am reminded again and again of the gift and power of grief. Grief is hard and there are days I would much rather not feel that pain. But there are days, that God reminds me through a simple memory and moment in time, that this life is not eternal. That God will eventually call us all back home; not to our earthly home but to our heavenly home.
I am linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Kristin and Porch Stories and Holley and Coffee for your Heart.