Not Saying Goodbye

 Jack and Cari Orr 

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since my mother passed away. It's even more difficult to think that my dad has now been gone over three years. During that time, other family members have passed on and our lives have been a little more empty because of it. As I look back over the last few years, the Lord has really been working on how I see things. Do we really say “Goodbye”, or, for believers, is it just, “I will see you again soon”?

There's a hole left in my heart by the passing of my parents. I always thought there would be more time and that they would both be in their eighties and just fall asleep and never wake up. To have one gone at 67 and the other at 73 seems too soon. This last year has brought around many stages of grief that I had not even thought existed. I was never angry at God. I do believe that each hair on our heads is numbered and days of our life are known by God, so one can't be angry at Him. I did not realize I could get angry at other things, though.

I started out numb and just kept moving on. Since then, there has been anger. Yes, I was angry at my folks for not taking better care of themselves. That anger just turned into sadness. How does one process this kind of thing when you aren't ready for it. I then had to start talking with the Lord. I was not ready. I needed more time. It was all that stuff we talk with Him about. Then, it comes back to this: It is not about me or my plan, it is about Him. The journey of losing my parents was not about my adventure, but theirs as well. How one ends their life is as important as how one lives it. As I look back on the days leading up to my parents' passing, I have to look at how I dealt with things. What would I change if that had been me facing the end of my life? What do I want to change now so that people see the Lord and not me? Death is something that should not scare me. I should take great joy in knowing that the Lord has it all planned out. That the end of life is really not the end of it all. We say that while living. But, when faced with the end, even that of a loved one, do we really get it? In our hearts, do we really believe that the Lord has each moment of every day planned? If so, then watching loved ones pass away should not be so hard. Then again, I am human.:-) 

We do miss those that we love on a daily basis. If we didn't, we did not love them as much as we thought. We should talk about them, embrace all the good and bad, and remember both the wonderful and the ugly memories that we shared with them. I think we then need to look and see what the Lord has planned for us in our lives which they were a part of. We can't not talk about them. We are here, so they are still here, too. I have to look at myself and decide: Do I want to see them again or live a life outside that of the one the Lord has planned for me? I was blessed with two wonderful parents. To think that the Lord had not planned all of this would be turning my back on Him. That would hurt even more then losing my parents. Embrace each and every day that you have with your loved ones. Even if those days are hard, they are the days that the Lord wanted you to have. And do remember that, for believers, it isn't “Goodbye”, just “See you later”.