Feeling is not for the Faint of Heart

Feeling is not for the Faint of Heart

Earl Grollman said it best, “grief is not a sign of disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”

I spent this Memorial Day weekend at Walloon Lake. Like Kid Rock says, “it’s summertime in Northern Michigan” 😉 and there’s nothing quite like it. I used to love Walloon Lake for the beauty and peace and family memories made but now, well now I love it for so many more reasons. Walloon Lake holds some of the best memories I have with my parents. In fact, Mom and I used to say that Walloon Lake is the closest thing to Heaven on earth. It wasn’t just about the lake house or the lake itself but about what it represented for our family. It was the one place we could go and forget about our phones, our to-do list, our problems and just be with each other and laugh. We laughed a lot while we were there. It was our family’s escape, our place. It truly was our heaven on earth.

Now that Mom and Dad are gone, it’s not the same but it’s still sweet. I like to bring my kids up here to experience the joys of life I got to experience with my parents. This past weekend, I got to sit on my parents dock with some peace and quiet and just think and feel their absence. It’s easy for me to want to rush out of feeling pain (the immediate emotion their absence brings). My pain is always met with the reality that my pain can never be fixed. I can’t exchange my pain of grief for what once was. I don’t ignore my feelings but lean into them. I choose to feel and, let me tell you, feeling is not for the faint of heart. I allowed my mind to run wild and my feelings of pain to follow and so, sitting on my parent’s dock, I dreamed …

If mom was here, she would be in the kitchen cooking and my girls would be helping her. I bet I would be in the kitchen too. Would she and I have a moment with each other where we realize how blessed we are or where she looks at me and gets teary eyed remembering me at the age my girls are? She would be in heaven over the joy of them. She would love them so much. If dad was here, he would be grilling or taking everyone out on the boat. I’m sure he would be singing a song he made up about himself, Papa. The girls would get a kick out of him and mom would just roll her eyes at how taken they would be by him. Would we have jet skis? I bet mom would be in rage if we had jet skis, but I’m sure the boys would break her and we would get them, but we would have to promise not to take the kids out on them … Jason and the Austin’s would have to have a jet ski up here. Oh, I would work out with Mom and Sister on the dock every morning while the kids slept and…

My dreams were met with sobs when reality comes crashing in like a freight train. None of my dreams can come true. No matter how hard I work, how long I pray or how much I do, they are gone and they aren’t coming back. It’s terrible to want something or someone so bad and yet there is nothing I can do except cry, feel pain and cry out to God in complete desperation, “it hurts. This is so hard and so painful”. He knows and meets me there with peace but not the “everything will be alright peace”. Instead, he meets me with the “I will never leave you or forsake you” peace. It’s days like these I am thankful that I can be hurt and full of grief and longing for them where He always meets me with grace, peace and understanding that this really is hard. I’m walking through the fire that could nearly kill me but I’m doing it.

And who says miracles don’t still happen…