It's taken me time to write this post. I could barely take the funeral program out of my car until just a few days ago. Her picture with her smiling so lovingly at me every time I glanced at it. So much has happened in just a month. It's been very tough, life is still full of grief, but God is still in control.
Grief is such a unique process. It is different in every circumstance, for every person. Although I have lost loved ones before, the grief this time is so hard to experience, hard to control, and I cannot wait for it to end. If it ever will.
To watch a love one fade away...to be so vibrant one day and then see the life leaving them the next...is incredibly tough. It's heart-wrenching, it is hurtful, but it is also so very beautiful. I am thankful we all got to be together in the last few days of my mother-in-law's life. I am very thankful she knew she was surrounded by what was most important to her.
We all had our time to say good-bye even though it was still much too soon. Our kids even chose to spend time with her on her last day, which I hope they will remember fondly. That time was incredibly special and rare. As I said my final good-bye I could only manage to whisper two words in her ear.
Thank you for being a constant encourager and supporter. Thank you for being meek yet very strong. Thank you for your strong leadership in the walls of the church, on the mission field, and for the family. Thank you for your nurturing ways. Showing others what it is like to be compassionate, kind, and care for others in all situations. Thank you for being the most amazing granna and mother-in-law. You never meddled or overstepped boundaries. You let us be a family of 4, but glowed with pride whenever we saw you.
Thank you for your big heart and being a willing servant of God. Because of this, you allowed two little boys into your home that already had three children and called them your own. You raised them as if they were your own flesh and blood and did not treat them as if they were not. Without your obedience, our family would not be what it is. Thank you for raising all five children in God's Word and to be strong and unique individuals. Their commitment to their parents, to each other, and the understanding that unity is utmost important is remarkable to watch.
Although they were only two words, there was so much said. And I pray she received my message.
As we grieve the loss of one beautiful soul, we find ourselves grieving a life that is no longer the same. My father-in-law will live out the rest of his life, hopefully many years still, fighting against the terrible disease of Alzheimer's. But knowing we can spend this time with him, learning so much about his younger years, is a huge blessing.
And so we grieve. And we pray. And we understand that God is still good and in control of situations. And we have some peace knowing she is pain free, worry-free, and simply free...in the presence of the One she so faithfully served.