Friday, August 14, 2009

In Memoriam.... One Year Later

(grampa always liked to say/do things that shocked grama)

Hello Friends! As always, you are patient companions along life's journey. Forgive my absence

Today marks one year since my grampa left us to be with the Lord. And it marks one day since one of my dear friends lost her grandmother. Many of my friends have suffered losses in the days between of siblings, parents, grandparents, and children.

That seems to be the story of this year - I don't think that I am more in tune to loss than I was before - I think that perhaps it is because my friends and I are of the ages now where our grandparents and parents are much older and part of life is loss. But what I do know is that there has been a lot of loss this year. I also know that my own experience of loss has dramatically supplemented the grief counseling learning and experiences that I've had over the years. My experience has helped me to become more of a crier over the sad things in my own lives and others. It has given me more compassion and grace for friends who experience loss. And I think that it has given me new perspectives on God and his nature.

The Lord has been my constant companion these last 12 months; though I often felt abandoned. Again, and again, though he has met me with verses from his word (through my daily reading or the "daily light"), with thoughts from saints I've never met (henri nouwen is a new favorite), and with comfort from saints who are new and old to me (you, friends, have brought God's blessings to me innumerable times).

Just this morning in fact, I read in the Daily Light: "Sing, O heavens! Be Joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people, and will have mercy on His afflicted." (Is 49:13) I mean, seriously, friends, could there be any better verse for me to wake up to this morning?! Especially since I have KNOWN this comfort and mercy in my life over the last 365 days! Awesome.

Today, I had good news from my grama. She has persevered this last year, trying to make a life on her own in Lake Havasu city. It has been a long year for all of us, worrying about her - but it has been an even longer year for her, after losing the love of her life, her best friend and companion. But she survived and in some ways she thrived. I am immensely proud of how she has made it through. All along we encouraged her that she didn't have to work anymore, but I think that she wanted to work - first to keep herself busy, and second because she didn't even have a different plan - she and grampa never really talked about what the other would do if one of them passed away. Well, today its official: She is moving back to Washington state in the spring - officially retiring after one more winter in Lake Havasu City. This is exciting news for all for all of us - she will be living in her trailer but on the property of her daughter (my aunt) Becky, and will be able to be a better part of community there than she is now.

So that's it. I read through the posts of the last year related to grampa, and it made me a little sad, but overall, I have felt OK today. Peaceful. I'm grateful for the experiences of the last year - grateful for the difficulties that I've experienced and for living through loss; grateful for the loneliness that I've felt, which bonded me closer to grama as she experienced loneliness; and grateful for the chance to be with my friends as they experience loss. I know that sad times will come again, and I'm sad that grampa's voice is fainter now in my memory than it was after one month, but I also know that I have much to be joyful about.

I've posted the links to previous posts below.

Thank you to all of you for your friendship and care for me. Peace as you travel your own roads today and in the upcoming days and years.

Love, Tiff

Links from the last year related to Grampa and Grama and this "year of loss":
60 years!
Gone Too Soon.
One Month.
Mom's Bday Present
A Lament
Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving
My Grampa and MJ.


Canderson said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Tiff. It has been a hard year for a lot of us with losing family members. You have always been a good friend to encourage us and stand with us through the pain. Thank you for that. May the coming year be one of joy for you.