This year has been one of loss. There have been many, many high points but there were many valleys as well. I lost four people and one pet that I was close to at one point or another in my life.
Yesterday marked the one year passing of one of my youth leaders. She was a huge influence on my life when I was in high school. I got to keep up with what was happening in her life through the magic of Facebook. Her daughter posted yesterday and you could feel the grief in her message.
A couple of months ago was the one year passing of a friend of ours from college. He had been sick for quite awhile but it was still fairly unexpected and shocking.
In October one of my closest friends passed away unexpectedly. Today I haven't been feeling very good but couldn't really figure out why. Part of the reason is grief. We have had a long standing tradition of taking our kiddos out to lunch or for a snack after the first day of school. Our girls are juniors in high school this year and we have been doing this since they were in the first grade. Today is the first day of school and the first time we won't be taking part in that tradition together. I miss my friend.
In November my 19 year old cat died. We loved that cat. My husband and I got her about 5 months after we got married so losing her was very sad. My kids loved her too. We recently got a new kitten and she does some things that make us think of our first kitty.
In February of this year my grandpa was in and out of the hospital. It was not looking good for him so we were preparing for the worst. In that time my grandma passed unexpectedly. My son and I went up for the funeral. Grandma and Grandpa went to a good old Baptist church so there was a big funeral dinner after my Grandma's service. A lady from the church brought over a container of potato salad that was specifically for my Grandpa. It was my Grandmas recipe and she wanted to make sure my grandpa got some of it. A couple of months ago my husband and I went out to lunch and I ordered potato salad. I took one bite and burst into tears because it was the first time I had had potato salad since my Grandma's funeral. It seems irrational but like I said above grief is a sneaky monster.
My Grandpa passed in May. He and my Grandma had been married for over 50 years and they weren't apart for long.
Each of these people in my life knew Jesus. As a Christian I believe they are celebrating in heaven. I know I will see them again one day. Until then I will feel the grief and pray that it turns to fond memories instead of feeling the hole left behind.