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Remembering

No matter how hard we try, some memories fade and there are just things we do not remember. Some people have vivid memories of their childhood, others remember only a scattered selection. As we age short term memory slips away quickly, but the distant past remains. When we begin to forget our own identity we experience the loss of everything that we are. The sadness of that loss is inexpressible.

Tonight I sat in a room with thirty broken hearts. Each one has a different story, but they are all the same. The children we planned to outlive have now gone from this life. We want to remember everything about them, they still matter to our todays … even though they are now a part of our yesterdays. The loss of our children is now a permanent part of our identity and we never plan to ‘get over it’ or just forget them.

A grieving parent has a lot of nightmares, but one of their fears is that everyone will simply forget that their child ever lived. So we keep them alive in our conversations. Their pictures adorn our walls. We remember things they said. Speculation is offered in all of life’s settings as to what we believe they would  think of this or that. But to forget … that would be tragedy upon tragedy.

Today this scripture keeps finding it’s way in front of me.

Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. ~ Isaiah 49:13-16

I can only think that God has been meeting some need deep in my heart. In moments when the pain of loss comes in like high tide, God has not forgotten me. Everyone else might forget, but God hasn’t. I’m as close as a glance at his hands…. those powerful creative and calming hands.

Who are you remembering today? Keep in mind that God has not forgotten nor overlooked your loss. He thinks about you all the time. We look forward to a day when we won’t have to ‘remember’ anymore, for we will be reunited. Until then, we remember and see our loved ones everywhere. And so does God.

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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.

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