“Normal” has begun to take on a new definition. Now, it means “Life without Daddy.” That’s hard to swallow, even for the littlest among us.
The morning Dad died, the kids were all at the house with us, and when we told them, almost all of them broke down in tears. All but Audrey. She looked up at me from my lap with those big brown eyes of hers, distressed. “Mommy, I can’t cry.” The look in her eyes was pure distress. I took her little elfin face in my hands and told her that it was okay. That she will cry plenty when she needs to, and not before. That whatever she was feeling in the moment was okay. She seemed reassured as I held her.
Durin seems worried that he feels sad, even though he knows where his Papa is now. I told him being sad is fine. That we will all be sad for a long time, and it will get a little better everyday, as we remember forever the Papa who loved us all so much.
Dain cried the hardest that day, but seems okay now. So does Lydia.
I know that it will crop up every once in awhile, and I know that I will be there for each of them, as they need it. I told them all that they will feel all kinds of things in the coming weeks, and even months, and that whatever they feel, it’s okay. That I will be here to help them understand, and to heal. That I am feeling the same things they are too. I told them that God has given us to one another so that we can offer each other the same comfort we have received from the Lord.
Little Schel this morning just about broke my heart. She finally realizes that Papa is gone. She was cuddling with her Momma this morning, crying and sad, and we weren’t sure what was up. She asked Jen, “Is Papa going bye-bye?”
“Yes,” Jen replied, “Papa is with Jesus now, sweetie.”
“Oh.” Schel said, taking a sip of her chocolate milk. She brightened a little as she paused, and said with a smile, “Papa’s praising the Lord!”
“Yes, Schel, Papa’s praising the Lord,” Jen tearfully replied.
Sweet Jared had quite a moment last night, too, as he has discovered that every time he comes over to Gramma & Papa’s house, he just gets really really sad, and he doesn’t know why. Trina and I ministered to him as best we could, and I told him that God saves all his tears in a bottle, and that if he needs to cry, to just let it come. I told him that God gave us tears as a gift, and they cleanse and help us to heal. Trina told him the story of Jesus weeping at Lazarus’ tomb, even though he knew that Lazarus would be raised to life again. Jared loved that.
He seems relieved after that, because he is one of those sweet boys who gets a little embarrassed when he cries. His heart is so tender. He’s a lot like my Audrey.
Our children are grieving — Even the two-year-old. I just pray that I can help us all to stay in a healthy place while we do so, and that we do not grieve as the rest of the world, because we have a great hope (a.k.a. “confident expectation”) of seeing Papa again.
Faith, hope, and love will win out in this family. We will not give in to despair, but we will grieve, and learn to lean more heavily on the Lord while we do. He is so good, and so faithful to hold us. His comfort is magnificent!
Grace & Peace,