Monday, May 20, 2013

On Grief

Today was rainy, cold and gloomy in Luxembourg.
These conditions outside, reflections of the state of our hearts right now.


Shawn and I have had two deaths in our families in the last four days.

On Thursday, my mom’s sister’s husband died.  I was a junior bridesmaid in their wedding back when I was too old to be a flower girl, but not old enough to take on the duties of a bridesmaid.
You may remember reading about their visit to Luxembourg last spring.  I can’t believe that my mom and her sister both became widows within four months of each other.  I’m so sad for my aunt, who lost her best friend.


And for Hannah, who lost her special great-uncle that she called, “My Jerry.”  She’s always had a special place in her heart for her Jerry.


Yesterday morning, while Shawn was loading my mom’s suitcases into the car to take her to the airport to return to America, we got a call that his grandpa had died.

I don’t even know where to start on this one.  If you know us in real life or you’ve ever spent any amount of time with our family, well, then you know just how special this man was.


He was a gentle soul who loved his cars and his motorcycles, but more than anything, he fiercely loved the Lord and his family.  Especially the little ones.  Oh, he adored those grandkids and great grandkids.  Shawn would tell you that much of who he is – is because of his grandpa.


It’s all very shocking, overwhelming and I’m not sure where the grief for one ends and starts for the next.  It’s all sort of messy and glommed together.

We’re heartbroken, unsettled and just plain…sad.  Two loved ones, both of their obituaries in the newspaper on the same day; their funerals in the same week. 

All of this, on top of losing my dad less than four months ago.

Shawn is definitely coming home this week, but we’re not sure about the rest of us because there are a few reasons it may not be possible (or sensible) to make a trip that far with a two month old.

In the meantime, we’re trying to keep things as normal as possible, supporting our family across the ocean via phone calls and text messages until we can all (hopefully) be together in person. 

The French have a way of expressing the missing or longing for someone: tu me manques. 
It means you are missing from me.
I think that sums up how most of our family is feeling right now – three people are missing from us.

I feel like so much of my blog lately has been the journaling of extreme highs tempered with extreme lows.  I guess that’s the season that we’re in right now.
We’re not promised a life without pain or sorrow, but the Lord does promise us this:

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5


“…crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

And so, during this time, as we wade yet again through sorrow, we know full well that joy will come again.

Until then, prayers for my family?


  1. Oh Tina, of course I am praying for you! And I don't know if you realize, but my MIL and my dad died within two weeks of each other, just 3 short years after my FIL died. (Who died just a few weeks before Nolan was born.) And my grandmother was in between those deaths. It was hard. It is hard. And I hate to keep saying that I UNDERSTAND, because I wish I didn't but I truly understand. I am praying for all of you. Please contact me if you need a shoulder.

  2. And...I am so, so, SO sorry for all your losses of such amazing men.