To someone who has lost a loved one (adapted from a real letter) – Daily Bread – 10/28/2013

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The pitfall in all that is the concept of being half a person who needs the other half to make you whole. Then, if the other person is gone, you’re left with being half a person again. 

 By Laurie Husselbee

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Stealing home – Ashes to the ocean scene

From the movie Stealing Home, with Jodie Foster and Mark Harmon, music by David Foster.

 

 

To someone who lost a loved one

(adapted from a real letter)

By Laurie Husselbee

From the December 24, 2001 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

There’s So Much I want to say that I hope will be helpful. Of course, I know that God is always sending love to you. And I know that you trust that your wife is safe in God’s care, just as she has always been. I know you loved her very much, and I believe you’ve already “released” her.

Restoring myself was difficult after my husband, Bill, died. I was so focused on releasing him that I spent a long time not taking other steps I needed to take. He and I were so compatible that I referred to him as my soulmate. We often had the same ideas at the same time. The pitfall in all that is the concept of being half a person who needs the other half to make you whole. Then, if the other person is gone, you’re left with being half a person again.

I struggled with that for a long time. Suddenly alone, I couldn’t figure out what it was I wanted. I was caught up in emotions that were foreign to me. It was the loneliest time of my life. Since I couldn’t stand to sit down at the table alone, I literally walked the floor with my plate when I ate at home. When I went out to eat, I sat at counters so I’d have someone to talk to. Strangers were temporary friends. I couldn’t get to sleep at night because I felt lonely without someone next to me. I’m telling you about all this so you’ll know that I speak from experience … and because I’d like to help you avoid that kind of pain. We don’t have to go through life feeling damaged by this kind of loss.

Death can be difficult. And the way we react to losing a loved one can make things hard for those around us, too. One time my daughter lamented, “Mom, I just want to see you happy again.” But even if it takes a while to get over the grief, we have this promise from God in the Bible, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25).

Gather up all the good you can glean from your life, and share it.

A good friend, who had known me all my life, gave me a card with a picture of a little girl in a ballet dress holding a rose behind her. The message spoke of hoping that the little girl in me—so sweet and innocent—would never be lost. I kept that card out where I could see it, as a reminder of how I’d been before the loss. Even as a reminder of myself before I knew Bill. It reminded me that I was whole and complete. I kept it out for as long as I felt that need for restoration.

Restoration is a key thought. Feeling restored comes with becoming more and more aware that the identity of each one of us is always complete and perfect. And this leads to regeneration, when we realize that God sees us as His flawless creation.

A big part of my restoration came when I discovered that I had something to give. Now, I’m simply trying to be in the “blessing” business. I do a lot of volunteer work at my church and meet lots of people that way. A friend said to me, “You just blossom when you’re greeting people.” Reaching out to others that way makes me feel like I’ve come home.

You have a wonderful life before you. Gather up all the good you can glean from your life, and share it. Then you’ll be in the blessing business—and it’ll bless you, too.