Anniversaries (reflections of grief, two years later)

The frequency of my blogging has slowed substantially lately, and I’m somewhat okay with that.

I’ve recently moved into a house of my own  in Kannapolis, and as of yet, I do not have access to the Internet unless I am at work or at the local coffee shop (where I’m currently writing this blog. On the off chance you’re reading this and/or live in the area, check the link.)

Living on my own has been an adjustment for sure. Granted, I spent the last 4 and a half years at college without my folks being present every second of every day, but in a college environment, you’re never actually alone. I’m learning to embrace solitude almost as much as I fear it. I’m learning the value of work and the fleeting nature of money. I’m learning about joy, about pain, and about seeking Christ as the only desirable thing in me.

This weekend has been wonderful, because I’ve had different friends stay over, visit, and spend time with me almost every day. That’s something you miss when you’re not surrounded by friends on a regular basis. When I was at the University, if I was bored or lonely, I could just go down the hall and walk through a door that was open and have a conversation with someone who knew me intimately and was heavily invested in my life.

Now that’s not so easy.

So I have been blessed.

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That said, this has been a very difficult weekend as well. Amidst all of the friends, all of the laughs, all of the familiar feelings of comfort, joy, and peace, there has a been another, all too familiar gnawing at the pit of my stomach: grief.

I don’t know what it is about a year passing, two years passing, three. There’s a popular saying that time heals all wounds, and maybe partly, that’s true. But all wounds? Is that even possible? Personally, I don’t think so.

Two years ago yesterday, one of my closest friends fell from a mountain and died.

I can’t help but have questions, and over the past two years those questions have relentlessly assaulted me. And as much closure as I may or may not have at this juncture, they haven’t all disappeared. There’s never been a rhyme or reason to my fears and doubt, and in one breath I have a been terrified of a God who would allow suffering and praised him with every fiber of my being. My questions have sounded something like this:

Why would God allow this?

What about all of our plans?

What did he feel, what did he think about as he was falling?

WHY, GOD, WHY?

And some days, words never actually formed in my mind, just feelings and emotions I couldn’t escape.

 

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In the last year, I have come to terms with the fact that in my infinite lack of wisdom, I cannot fathom why God would allow a kid at just 21 years old with a desperate love for him to just die like that. But to blame him for such a harsh injustice is foolish and empty and really only intensifies the pain I feel when trying to wrap my head around it.

Because the same God who I cried out to with blame pulsing beneath my tongue held me close all those nights when all I could do was cry. He was present in gentle affirmations in the back of my head, as if he were saying, though you don’t understand, you are loved beyond measure, you are mine, even in your anger, even in your devastation and suffering. 

He was present in my own father, who held me close to his chest one night as I soaked through his shirt with tears and screamed my protests at the sky. He was there when my tear ducts couldn’t produce anything more. He was there when I mourned over the fact that I couldn’t mourn anymore. He was there when I told myself that one day, Jordan would come back and we’d spend time together, just like we used to. He was there when my friends and I carried Jordan’s casket and placed it on top of the vault. He was there on the days I sat by my friend’s grave and wept.

In all things, in all tragedies, I don’t always understand the hand of God in suffering, but I do know that he will never leave, nor forsake us. When all my words are used up, Christ is present and I am never alone.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” -Romans 8:26-27

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Author: panicpreacherpanic

I am not good.

1 thought on “Anniversaries (reflections of grief, two years later)”

  1. Thank you for putting words to emotions I’ve never been able to articulate. I’m still angry, and usually at the most absurd things–for instance, it’s rained on both anniversaries, just as it rained for days after his death. I remember sitting and looking out the sky and just wishing, more than anything, that it had been raining that June 9th, two years ago. Yesterday, watching the streets outside flood under the downpour, I felt anger at the weather– how dare it come down on this day. If I let myself dwell on it, there are so many “what-ifs” that plague me.

    Your words are a comfort and just watching you continue to grow and touch the lives of others gives me hope. We might not talk as much as we used to, but I wanted you to know that you are still a big part in my life. Just knowing that you can put the anger aside and try to find hope, pulls me away from my own anger and gives me a chance focus on the good times, on the memories of belonging to an amazing group of individuals. Thank you for having the courage to talk something so intimate and painful.

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