This post “After loss, you will find the shine again ” is adapted and expanded on from a post I wrote in 2015 after the deaths of a close friend and my mother in law.
It is the end of May and my mother in laws birthday. She was our last parent and grandparent and it hit us hard when she died. My husband and I had just gotten back together and were planning our wedding when two people we loved died within days of each other. My best friends sister and my mother in law died three days apart. We just sunk. So many deaths in our family already, so much loss caused us both to retreat and take cover. But, I want you to know, if you are struggling with loss, you will find the shine again. It doesn’t have to be today, but you will find your way out.
A few months after their deaths and funerals, the difficult cleaning out of their homes, I wrote:
“After months of struggle, something inside let go of the melancholy that came with losing someone,” and it softened.
We didn’t feel happy, but we felt less sad, less flat.
“Someone said thank you. Someone else told me something funny. I laughed over a text; someone said they miss me. I saw a touching movie. I changed my music until I felt a little lighter. My dog chased a ping pong ball and played Hockey Frisbee for ten minutes while I watched with amazement at her inexplicable burst of high speed energy, and I let myself laugh.”
We let ourselves start to feel things again.
This year, so many losses have been on my mind.
My mom and dad, my grandparents, especially my Mamaw Chambers. My husbands parents and grandparents. Our worship leader and close friend, the young man in my youth group, my best friends husband, mother, father, sister. Another friends sister. It makes me so appreciative of life and time spent with family. I have a daughter and grandchildren, brothers and extended family that are the living and they need us. We need them. Family is important. Bonds, love, and community help us deal with life. Love is the reason we are here.
Today, I want you to know that when loss happens, that you can recover.
My own parents died before I was out of my twenties, many others in the thirty years since, but one of the most difficult losses was the loss of our granddaughter at twenty plus weeks. She was delivered, named Lillian Fay after her great grandmother. The due date/her birthday would have been her great grandmother’s birthday, May 31st. My daughter and son in law were so broken by this loss that it was hard for them to function.
We give their lives meaning when we mourn someone. They were important, still important now. We miss them.
They have a legacy.
But, do not let death define you.
Close your eyes and choose a happy thought. Linger there.
“When you open your eyes, choose something to be thankful for.”
When the darkness tries to take you back, focus on the pain for a moment, that hard thing, that dark thing that has tried to keep you in sadness.
Now allow some light to seep into that hard dark place, and let it go.
Let the darkness go and live with the living. You are still a light to someone who needs you too.
“I pray that God fills that place with something beautiful. Then we can both look up, ask for truth, and let some happiness shine some light into our souls.”
You are capable of such intense happiness. It is near.
You are the shine in this world, the light. Even when your light dims, you will find the shine again.