Thursday, January 10, 2008

Separate, but Not Alone

When Mom told me a week ago that my grandfather passed away, I mentioned that I felt both grief and relief in the same moment. I didn't know what that meant right away, but today's thoughts revealed something profound. I'm still grieving and remembering Grandpa and his funny stories and laugh. I'm afraid to forget things about him, as if his shine in my memory will tarnish.

My Dad's mother (the other side) told me that it wasn't good for me to be alone as I grieve and let go. With no family to speak of in town and not wanting to rely on friends that didn't know Grandpa, I did deal with things on my own--usually how I do things anyway. But even in this solitude, I've never felt truly alone. It's weird for me to say that, too. When I heard he'd passed, I felt relief. I felt okay. I felt a presence, something comforting and good and reassuring telling me that Grandpa's where he wanted to be, where he was meant to be.

My faith continues to surprise me. Just when I think I should be getting angry and turning away from God, I do the opposite. In my moment of extreme pain, I reached up. I cried out to God asking Him to help me through, asking Him to be with my family as we mourned. The words were not original or unusual... they were probably even unintelligible through my tears. Then, at Grandpa's memorial service, as I listened to the eulogy and saw pictures of Gramps in his youth, I felt the connection again. I could feel the real and divine presence.

And all of this was humbling. I've set aside time to think and reflect, time and energy from things that don't matter much right now. I think about family and friends, little else. To stand and ask God for help and to receive such support... it was intensely humbling and overwhelming. It still is overwhelming: I cried as I wrote this post. In a physical sense, I've gone through most of this alone. I don't feel alone. I feel separate, but not alone.

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