When you have little people (i.e. kids), it feels a little disconcerting when they are out of your sight – especially in public. For real. Even if gone for a moment, a mommy grows anxious when their kids are out of view. I have a prayer for moving on after death, but let me get this out first.
For instance, one day while out and about, I lost “eyeshot” of my three-year-old.
I looked around and around and was concerned when I didn’t see him. I walked a few feet ahead to see if my oldest son had seen him. Dangit, I didn’t see the older kid either.
Then I heard that familiar, high-pitched giggle and spotted my “baby-cakes” walking toward me, smiling and grinning with his big brother. I thought to myself, all is well.
An Interesting parallel for Christians and then my prayer for moving on after death.
One of life’s most difficult hardships is the death of a loved one. I know this all too well.
My dad, two aunts, and two of my brothers died several years ago rather close together in time. It seemed one after another. Not one day goes by that I don’t think of them.
For me, the grief seems to come in waves and ripples.
As time goes on, I learn new ways to manage it. but, I still miss them terribly. I often pray about the pain and it helps …for the moment. But, it always returns.
I never want to get stuck in the melancholy, so I pray variations of the same prayer for moving on after death. The words are usually different, but the concept is always the same. I’ll share that later.
Today, one brother, in particular, crept into my thoughts. It was the brother who was closest in age to me – Eric.
You would have loved him! He was a jovial, loving “teddy bear” of a fellow. Five years older than me, I tenderly referred to him as my “big” brother well into adulthood and most all my childhood memories include him.
And boy, was he protective of me!
In fact, he often grew somewhat prickly if he perceived someone was mistreating me. He was my protector.
Although guarding, he had a sweet vulnerability that made him lovable to most everyone he encountered. But, again, he did not “play” when it came to his little sister.
Oh, how I miss him. I miss his smile. I miss his giggle.
Well, today while driving home from a birthday party, I began to grieve Eric all of a sudden…out of nowhere.
It’s odd how loved ones you’ve lost come to mind, isn’t? They just pop into my mind or into my dreams. Literally. I sometimes dream they were on a long trip and are back with me again. It’s happened often.
Anyway, I thought of Eric. I didn’t feel remarkably tearful; it was just that sort of longing you can sometimes get when you’ve lost someone you love.
I thought of the softness in his eyes and the warmth of his smile. For a minute I even got that “feeling” of angst that is recognizable to grieving people. “Is he okay?” I wondered. “I hope he’s ok.
Then it hit me.
Girl, Eric is fine!
He’s in the presence of the sweet, gentle, and kind Savior.
He has no pain.
His spirit is enveloped in serenity. It’s the kind of peace every Christian on earth longs to experience. He’s got it…this very moment…as I type this.
He gets to witness -up close and personally- the intense beauty of God’s handiwork every single day! His spirit is at peace.
No asthma. No meds to take. He’s okay…no, better than ok. He’s in heaven!
Along the same lines, Eric can talk to our grandpa and grandma anytime he wants. Jesus, himself, is within reaching distance to Eric. He’s ok. He’s not misplaced. This makes me feel better.
Eric’s commitment to Christ became sure and certain toward the end of his life and I know that I will see him again.
That helps me move forward. That helps me transition from my moment of sadness.
He’s not lost – I didn’t lose him.
His whereabouts are sure and they are incredible.
As I pondered the promises of God and the beautiful gift of eternity, I became comforted.
Yeah, my sadness instantaneously transformed into that sort of peace I had when I spotted John-John walking toward me with his big brother. It was like …relief.
Eric’s not lost. All really is well. He’s walking with Jesus just as my baby was walking alongside my son that day in the store.
My prayer for moving on after death
Thank you for the time I had with my loved one.
I thank you for the laughs we shared the struggles we overcame and for the blessing of knowing them.
I understand grief will take as long as it takes. It’s not logical to apply something as fleeting as time to something as massive as grief.
Lord as I learn to navigate the season of sorrow please remind me but I am not to grieve as someone who has no hope.
Because I do have lots of hope. I know he will come back with you to get me one day. I know he is resting sweetly with you.
The promise of a reunion is definite and because of that I know I can make it through my season of grief.
Thank you again, Lord for bring my loved one into my life.
Please help me move forward with my life in a healthy way. Don’t allow me to get stuck in pain. Instead, help me to re-define my life in my “new normal” without my loved one.
Help me stay focused on the good things and not the things representative of my loss.
May my memories be seasoned with gratitude and not burdened with pain.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you’ve read around my blog, you know I love the work of Dr. Charles Stanley. He wrote something helpful regarding grief. Check it out: https://www.intouch.org/read/understanding-grief