Ponderings (A Sister’s take on Life after Loss) by Heather Grijalva

“I trust in you Lord, but keep helping me in my many moments of distrust and doubt.” Henri Nouwen Heart Speaks to Heart.

I don't know if we ever really take the time to sit and truly ponder life and what it's about until we lose someone very close to us. At least it was like that with me.

I remember the moment my mom put her hands on my cheeks and through her own tears said, "Your brother was shot and he didn't make it, he's dead Heather, I’m so sorry." I was always afraid of someone close to me dying. I knew very little about what happens when someone close to you dies but I knew I didn’t want it to happen to me. And I certainly did not think it would be my little brother.

If you’ve dealt with a loss you know the emotions and the consequences they bring. I became bitter, angry, helpless, and out of control to name a few; I became a cynic. But on the outside I wanted to be strong, courageous, and at peace. And telling people how I knew he was in a much better place or how much God has helped me through didn’t change what was on the inside until I truly started to believe it… from the inside out.   

I have done a lot of “pondering” to put it lightly about why things happen to certain people in life. It seems like the bad stuff always happens to the same people. My mom lost her sister to suicide and now she lost her son; my grandmother, a daughter and now her grandchild. I’ve always felt there was always something going on that was a struggle in my life. I never felt like I had it “easy” as some would say. I have always dealt with stuff like anxiety, depression, finances, and illness, I just never felt in a good place. But going into 2010 I had an overwhelming sense that it would finally be a year of balance. I had not been sick in a while and I was able to go to work part time in the evenings to help out with finances. But 30 days into the year and those horrible words were said that forever changed who I am. And who says God does not have a sense of humor??? Three months later on April 14th (my brother’s birthday) my husband came home with the news that he was let go from his job.  Two months after that in June my company announced they were outsourcing and most of us would be let go. 2010 was not going as I had planned.

God really knows how to make an entrance and let you know how bad things can really be and how much we really do need Him. We all have our own stories and some are worse than others.  I have learned that God never promised life without struggle but he did promise that he would be there to catch us when we fall has such great meaning.

This is when I realized I needed to have a relationship with Him and not merely know who he is. I needed him in me and I had a lot of work to do within myself. I am still working on it and know I will be forever. I stumble and fall and get distracted but he is always there for me. God never changes, his love never fails. Your life is your own and no one can ever live it but you. I made it through 2010 and 11 and part of 12. I may not be perfect, my life is not perfect but my God is perfect and that makes the future alright with me.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

About the Author
I am 31 years old. I am a wife, a mother to two girls age 6 and 3, I work full-time outside the home, and I am starting a ministry for Loved Ones Lost too Soon. My brother was murdered Jan. 30, 2010 and I am learning how to live this "new" life day by day.
I'm Grieving, Now What?