Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My father-in-law passed from this life a few days ago.

He was bigger than life and left a hole larger than life. A self-made, independent man who struck out from the wilds of Montana when he was fifteen.

A man who left an imprint that was like no other.

Over the years, I've had friends who've lost loved ones and I've hated that I couldn't do anything to make their pain go away.

I've wanted to hurry things up—to help get their lives back to normal, back to what was comfortable and predictable.

When a moment of levity would lighten those tough moments or life regained normal footing for an hour or so, I'd be relieved, glad that they were moving on and grief wasn't swallowing them.

But what I've discovered is that despite being able to laugh at a memory or load the dishwasher without crying, the grief never goes away. It is a constant shadow that bleeds the color out of life, absorbing the joy and leaving flat gray in its place.

I feel snared in a place of unreality. My mind knows that everything has changed, yet is caught between that truth and the way I still yearn for things to be. The truth is a black hole I don't want to fall into.

I find myself struggling with anger toward God. It hasn't shaken my trust in Him and I see glimpses of His perfect plan, but I still feel lonesome for this man who was like a father to me.

Yet through all the pain, the anger, the grief, confusion and sadness, God's presence is close and it comforts me.

God is faithful even when we are faithless, for He can't deny Himself.


  1. I'm very sorry for your loss, and having lost my own self-made Montana Dad, I understand the grief. And you're right: it never goes away. However, one day it moves to memory and only shows itself at those moments when the memory is summoned by scent, a remark, an incident, or a picture.

    Don't allow too much anger--at least not at God, our days are numbered before one of them begins . . .

  2. Oh, dear sister,
    I so remember looking outside and being SHOCKED that cars were still driving and people still walking and talking after my father died. I was convinced the world had stopped, and couldn't quite gel the fact that it hadn't.

    The pain DOES soften some in time...and the sweetness of memories and the laughter and fondness linger with even more brightness over your sorrow. Hang in there. I'm praying for you!

  3. Thanks Nicole. It's comforting to know another has walked that path. I appreciate your words.

  4. Thanks Sharon. I appreciate your support, love and prayers. Love you.