Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Grief: The Two Year Countdown

We've officially entered the two year countdown with the end of August happening. I was asked to share where I am with the whole grieving process of saying goodbye to daddy and learning to live without him being here in the flesh. So, here I go....

Grief is one of the necessary emotions and processes of life. I do consider to have been incredibly blessed by starting the process before we ever moved in with my parents. For the man who had been my dad in my childhood and teenage years would have never needed his daughter and son-in-law and three grandsons to take care of him. The man in May of 2005 did without question even though he did numerous times - question it that is.... until he and God got it all straightened out and he was able to accept it and no longer be mad at me/us.

My daddy and I were exceedingly close. We shared the same passion for serving God and serving others. And even in his dealing with Parkinson's and Diabetes - that did not change. It just made it more interesting at times. There were times when we simply had to laugh even though others thought it might have been inappropriate to do so. That's what happens when you had one who was healed and one who was ill. Of course - he got the ultimate healing.

At the end of August of 2006 is when daddy had his heart attack and spent the next two months in such a battle before winning the race on November 1st. What we learned about God, ourselves, and life and living during those two months - I would not change for the world... not even with the pain that was involved. Funny how God can work like that if we allow Him to.

We're still getting phone calls for daddy even after all this time. And I must confess - that can be hard and hit me/us when we're least expecting it. Yesterday there were 2 of them. One of which we've repeatedly asked for his name to be taken off their list.... It gets a little frustrating as well. If he had just been out playing golf and missed their call - I could understand. But deceased is deceased. It is the ultimate change of addresses.

One of the things that I/we do deal with on a daily basis is the fact that because of how loved daddy was and how God used him to touch others right where they were.... we are not in the grieving process alone as a family. On any given day - he is talked about and remembered... and I'm often called or sought out in person to be a support for that individual - whether it's just listening, praying with or giving that hug I promised him I would give on his behalf and mine.

It is no secret that I loved my daddy dearly. He wasn't just my dad, father in law/friend/dad to my hubby, and amazing grandpa to our three sons...... he was a very dear friend... but more than that.... he was my brother in Christ... and still is. Taking care of daddy will always be remembered with fondness even with the many tears that were cried and still are at times. Tears are a necessary part of my grief and my joy in Christ and salvation that only comes through Him.

So, that's where I am today. And I am good with it. For like I said... grief is one of those necessary emotions and processes of life. It should not be swept under the rug, or put on a shelf, or ignored. And it can reap untold benefits such as helping others who are dealing with their own grief. We were not meant to walk through life's moments alone.

It does, however, go back to God.

It always goes back to God.

For that is the most important relationship any one can ever have.

I could still have my daddy here and not have that relationship with God.

And my daddy could not save me. That's not what dads are for or moms. (nor daughters their dads.)

That's why Jesus came, lived, died and rose again conquering death.

Jesus is the Only Savior....

And while I loved my daddy and he loved me.......

There is no love that compares to that of my Real Father - God.

His love is sufficient. It is complete.

He is the Only One worthy of Worship and Praise....

Even in grieving a man I knew as daddy.

Have a story about grief to share? Feel free to do so...


Bill (cycleguy) said...

Camey: What an awesome post! It was in March of 2004 that my mom went to be with Jesus. At the age of 70 she was still going and going until that fall she started having trouble going up and down my brother's driveway (steep one in PA). she chalked it up to being 70. In December she had a biopsy done and it was a rare form of cancer that (at that time) mostly struck woman who were non-smokers. The drug they gave to slow its progress or kill it actually sped up the process. She went to be with Jesus in March. Those last 6 weeks I would drive 5 hours from my home in Ohio to her home in PA to spend a few days a week with her then turn around and the next week do it again. I would not trade that for the world. I can remember as if it was yesterday her falling asleep and waking up and saying, "Oh I'm still here." She loved her family but she loved Jesus more and she knew she would be reunited with her godly mother and father. I take great comfort in knowing she is healed, dancing (she was after all a charismatic Baptist)and enjoying where she is. I miss her but don't wish her back. Thanks for reminding me again of what I had and have to look forward to.

Camey said...

Bill: Thanks and you're welcome. I'm glad you took the time to share about your mom. Sounds like a wonderful lady! "I miss her but don't wish her back" - I am the same way obviously about my dad.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

When I served as a pastor, I saw countless grieving times and moments where people went from this world to the next.

One of the most special times happened early in my ministry. The gentleman had been sick for some time and we all knew his death was close. I stayed with his son-in-law one afternoon as his wife and daughter went to eat. He had been unconcious for days. About 3:00 PM, the gentleman sat up in the bed and began talking. He said, "Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. I'll see you soon."

He laid back down in the bed and in an hour or so, he woke up. We asked him about what had happened earlier, if he remembered. He said, matter of factly, "Oh, yes, I remember. Jesus was here. He told me it wouldn't be long, and then I'd be going home!"

The next day, Jesus came back. This time, he took my friend home with him.

Camey said...


Thank you for sharing that! It is an incredibly special time indeed. The fact that it happened early in your ministry and yet you remember it still and seems as if it were yesterday by your words.

I pray more Christ-followers will embrace death as something to celebrate even in the midst of whatever pain may be involved.

Thank you for sharing this story. Greatly appreciated.