I think we can all agree that there are hard things to grapple with in this world. One of my biggest fears is losing my people – all the people I love.
I don’t really know why I struggle with this so much. I think it’s because I haven’t lost a lot of people. It could also be that my husband makes me watch a lot of science fiction movies and the world is always ending. Plus, I know that as I get older, it becomes more inevitable.
I had the recent privilege of reading September Vaudrey’s new book Colors of Goodbye: A Memoir of Holding On, Letting Go, and Reclaiming Joy in the Wake of Loss. I count it a privilege because this book will introduce you to the daughter she lost. You will wish alongside her that she didn’t have to say goodbye. Her words, even though every one of them was crafted beautifully, are hard to read because, as a mom, you will find yourself thinking, “What if it was me?”
The thing is…it has been some of us and it will be some of us, won’t it?
Friends, I think we need to think about loss for a moment. There are two very powerful things about my own life that were illuminated because of this book.
- It is hard for me to love God more than my people
- It is hard to push through grief. But, that’s what we need to do. Push through – not walk around.
I trust God. I really feel him in our lives and in the things we are doing daily. BUT, I don’t want losing my children, harm coming to my children or hurt coming to my children to be in any part of what he allows for them. Because of this, my trust wavers.
I think to myself, “I can do it better.” (For the record, I can’t.) This is challenging, but don’t miss it: We need to hold those we love loosely, trusting them more to God than ourselves.
Thinking about grief, I think back to when my dad passed away and I don’t think I really knew how to grieve. I tend to want to plan around my grief. If I do, do, do, than I won’t have to think or feel. For me there wasn’t a process of letting go, he just wasn’t here anymore.
Everyone grieves differently and what I loved in Colors of Goodbye is that the whole Vaudrey family recognized and struggled through their grief both individually and together; they allowed things to happen but they also talked through what they all needed.
Since reading this book I’ve been thinking through loss a lot. While you are never ready for it, I think there are a few tangible things you can do.
- In Case of Emergency Cards – create cards for yourself and your loved ones that give them information about how to love you well amidst grief.
- Read Colors of Goodbye and don’t run away from the topic of loss. We are on this Earth for a short time, friends. We don’t know our end, but we know our destination. Work through your difficulty with loss and discover through this book how to reclaim your joy.
- Read the Bible, pray and ask God to reveal to you how you can find peace in this area.
Friends, this is a powerful story. I think you’ll be blessed by it. You can pick up your copy of Colors of Goodbye now as it just released this week. And, we’d love to hear from you. Have you lost someone? Tell us about your journey. We’d love to walk with you.