Wonderful because my dear father-in-law is home with his beloved Lord. Awful because I hate goodbyes. I hate change. I hate things that disrupt the norm.
When I was gathering information to write Art's obituary, no one could remember exactly when he moved here from Montana. I reached for the phone, of course he would know.
I've heard people mention those moments of reaching out to call, to connect and then that icy flash of realization when the loss hits all over again.
It hurts. I called his office today just to listen to his voice. It was comforting, like a warm hug. I want to keep that message, so I can call when the missing becomes too much.
I've started feeling more like myself again. Not so lost in the flat fog of grief. I've actually had a few moments of elation for him. I know his joy is complete at this very moment and the next and the next.
I long for the time when life feels normal again, but realize the path of normal will be far different than the one before.
No more pancake lunches at our favorite restaurant. I don't know if I can even eat there anymore.
But life will go on, and the old norm will wane as new routines and structure color over the fading lines.
Hope will gradually fill in the cracks that the grief left in our hearts. Joy and excitement will once again sparkle in our lives with no diminishing shadows.
The joy of the Lord will be our strength. Thankfully His joy surrounds and carries us.