Today is September 5th. Up until I met my husband in ’97, this day was a very sad day for me, as a dear friend of mine died in a car crash 9/5/92. I was in middle school and she had been my camp counselor. More than that she was a mentor, keeping in touch after camp, taking me out for pizza, and being a friend. She was only 24. Today, she would be 41. I wonder if she would be a mom, a wife, and many other things. To say she had a profound impact on my life would be an understatement. In fact, the only reason I am not using her name is because my beautiful daughter BQ was named after her and since I do not use BQ’s real name I am not able to say hers. Maybe I could just call her The Original BQ?
Anyway, the reason this day became less hard after I met my husband is that it happens to be his birthday. Almost through God’s goodness this day that brought such sadness to me became a day that also included much celebration. It helped to have something else to think about and I found that in the midst of my sadness, I was better able to celebrate not only my husband but The Original BQ’s life as well.
It has been 17 years since she died. 17 years. It is still hard to believe. I was able to get into contact with her parents when my BQ was about 4 months old to tell them how much I loved and miss their daughter, share with them about my own little BQ named in her memory, and connect with another piece of The Original BQ. This relationship has taught me something that I think I knew before but didn’t really understand. Grief is timeless. Utterly and truly timeless. There is a phrase that says “time heals all wounds” but I think we all know that that is a bunch of bull. We usually find ourselves forced to adjust to a new normal. We continue on with life, we function, and time does pass, that is true, but we never stop missing the one who is gone. Do we? The Original BQ’s parents have not held their daughter nor seen her for 17 years and I can tell you that their pain is still palpable. Dear friends of ours lost their sweet son 6 months ago and I am sure that each day still feels like agony. The ache, the sorrow, and the absence of that one never goes away. You never “get over” the death of someone you love. And should you? I mean really, would that make any sense?
The comfort that we can cling to is not of the this world. I think if we spend our time looking for something on planet earth, or in another person to help us get through the day we are lost. What we truly need to heal those deep, deep painful places of ourselves that threaten to pull us under, is the touch of God himself. I know that there are many of you who read my blog who don’t believe in God, and that is fine. But you have to know that I do. And it isn’t just for fluffy, “uneducated” reasons. It is because in the days following the loss of The Original BQ God showed up. My mom’s hugs were great, sharing tears with friends who knew her was a gift, but it was only in my room alone when I sobbed hard on the ground and cried out, not really to anyone in particular “how am I supposed to live,” that I met this God I had heard about for such a long time. The only way I can describe it is to say that what I experienced was a palpable healing of my broken heart. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t still grieving after, but the peace I had was indescribable. A new sort of peace I had never known before. It was at that moment that I truly believed there was a God and that He actually knew me and more than that, knew my pain. Above all the gifts that The Original BQ gave me through her short time on earth, that is the one I treasure the most.
So I guess my point in the midst of all of these words is to say that if you are grieving right now, you aren’t alone. And, don’t ever let anyone tell you that in time you will “get over it.” That, my friends, is crap. Your world will go on for sure, but it will be a new normal. It’s okay to acknowledge that and to even wish you could go back. But, don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed. There is hope in the midst of our grief that allows us to take those slow steps and move forward without letting go of our memories or love for the one that is gone. Even if you don’t believe in God, you have to admit that grief can feel really hopeless and that it’s hard to find anything to assuage it. I would challenge you, if out of nothing other than desperation, to see what would happen if you asked God to show up and give you what he gave to me on September 9, 2002 when I was 13. What do you really have to lose?
I shared with you guys why I do believe in God. As you read, it wasn’t about someone arguing with me or convincing me of something. I believe in God because I experienced him. That is why I am certain that he is who he says he is and that he is above all, real. So, now you know why I believe what I do and why it is something that so powerfully impacts my life on a daily basis.
So I’m off to look at some sweet pictures of The Original BQ and help my husband blow out his birthday candles. It’s that constant rhythm of life, the balance between the the happy/sad, good/bad, funny/serious moments in life. Wherever you are today, whatever grief you are living with, know you aren’t alone. It’s okay to cry, cry A LOT even, and it’s okay to feel to lost. Just promise me before you get completely engulfed by your grief that you will try all of your options. Even if it includes doing something you swore you’d never do.