A New Place That Isn't Quite As Happy

2008 was a rough year. It was the year we unexpectedly said a tragic goodbye to our 18 year old son. It was the year my mother suffered through breast cancer. It was the year we said goodbye to our stepdad of 28 years, Harold. In some ways it does not seem very long ago, and in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago. Mom now lives here in the same city, for which we are very grateful. She has her times of extreme loneliness and grief, yet manages to smile and enjoy good times as well.

It was November 2nd that Harold said his last goodbye. He came into our lives when I was a late teenager, about to go to college… so I never had a chance to think of him as (or call him) “dad”, he was much more a close friend. His presence brought along three sisters. It takes a lot of love to make things work a second time around. Mom and Harold had plenty of love and were married for 28 years, disrupted only by mesothelioma … otherwise he would still be by her side (unless he was fishing).

Birth and death, two markers in time that we don’t want to forget. Just a few weeks ago it was John Robert’s birthday, he would have been 22. Mom sent me a great card. I’ll be honest, I usually only glance at cards, only reading anything that is hand written. But this one was profound. So I’m going to share these thoughts for anyone out there who is hurting over the loss of someone special.

God Cares about every detail of your life…

He collects every tear in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8)

He numbers every hair on your head. (Luke 12:7)

He knows every hurt in your heart. (Psalm 34:18)

“…God cares, cares right down to the last detail.” (James 5:11, The Message)

The Lord knows all you are going through. He loves you, He cares for you, and He will make sure that not one detail is overlooked in your life.

When you lose someone you love it seems like you are cast into a dark tunnel, and the light at the other end seems so far away. For months on end you trudge toward it until one day you step out and find yourself in a strange new land. It looks a lot like home, but something’s different. Someone’s missing. This is a new place that isn’t quite as happy as the place you were before. It is here that we exercise the faith we’ve been building all these years. We hang on to God with everything we have. We remember that out here hope remains.

About the Author
John Dobbs is a Christian minister who lives in Monroe, Louisiana. He and his wife Maggy lost their 18 year old son, John Robert, in May of 2008. John has spoken several times on recovery from grief and has a series of four message called "Acquainted With Grief". He has hosted GriefShare groups and is active with The Compassionate Friends chapter in Monroe. John writes on grief, and a variety of other subjects, at his blog called Out Here Hope Remains, located at http://johndobbs.com.
What is Grief?