He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
I lost my grandma today. I don't know all of the details but I am all packed up and the kids and I will be leaving tomorrow at 4am to make the 9 hour drive up to Oklahoma to be with family. I've cried so many tears because no matter how prepared you think you are, the sting of death is still so painful.
I should be sleeping but my mind won't stop running. My coping mechanism with grief seems to be through coming up with a game plan and taking care of details and while that's a good distraction in the short term, it sure isn't compatible with falling asleep at night. It's so hard not to dwell on my regrets. Like how I should have picked up the phone and called her a few days ago when I realized I hadn't talked to her in a while instead of telling myself I'll just wait for her always dependable phone call on my birthday this week since she has never once missed it. Like how I should have paid closer attention and written down some of the stories she's shared with me over the years because I will never hear them again and some of them have already faded from my memory. Like how I should have listened to Rick when he suggested we take the kids up to visit her over Christmas instead of insisting we wait until summer when Harper is bigger. She never got to meet her and that breaks my heart.
Do you ever feel like God gives you signs? I haven't been able to make it to church in almost 2 months since Harper has been sick. We almost didn't go today. Rick hurt his back over the weekend and we were already running behind schedule, but I really felt God pushing me to get us out the door. The sermon was entirely about Heaven. It was a great, encouraging message of truth and I was unexplainably emotional through it. I had tears running down my face and I had no idea why but I felt certain God was whispering comfort to me. And hour later I got the phone call that my grandma had died. I miss her deeply already. But through my tears there is also great joy. Joy in that the very first moment her life ended she was in the very presence of Christ. Joy that she no longer knows pain. Joy that she is home.
Yancey referenced a C.S. Lewis quote this morning in his sermon and while I'm grieving I can't help but smile thinking about it. All her adventures have only been the cover and the title page: and now she is beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has ever read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.