Monday, March 7, 2011

grief.

i miss my dad. i miss him every day. i didn't know how hard this was going to be. this dreadful thing of grief.

it was real nice walking around on this earth, knowing i had a daddy. knowing i had a dad who i could introduce my future husband to, who would walk me down the aisle to meet that husband, and who would hold my future children close to his chest while they listened to that all too familiar fake valve in his heart go clickclick...clickclick...clickclick. he had a valve in his heart replaced when i was 17.

my dad died on Valentine's Day this year. that was 4 weeks ago last night. ever since then i've had moments where i didn't think i could take it. that i couldn't accept this reality i find myself unwillingly in every second. a few days ago i caught myself tagging my dad in a photo, and had to stop. a few days before that, i had to erase his number out of my phone. the week prior, i had to begin packing up his apartment. and two days ago i had to carry my dad's ashes in the seat next to me, all the way home.

i wear his watch around my wrist now. it's a 1991 Duke NCAA National Championship watch. it's too big, but i don't want to get it adjusted. i like remembering how much bigger his wrists were than mine every time i have to take it off to wash my hands. it slides down and even though it's broken, i don't want to get it wet.

i didn't want to write about my dad. i just want my mourning to be over. i want to turn a blind eye to it and move forward. i'm a control monster and you can't control grief. so here i am writing..to the few people who read my thoughts hoping that it meets something in the need of that reader.
my pastor back in Atlanta reminded me today that we don't have tomorrow and, my friends, that should change your now. the way you live. i know i'm changed. i'm going to be real honest about something important. i've never understood what Christians mean when they talk about "living in light of Eternity". i get the idea, but i've never resonated with it. 
until now. 
my father's death has made me realize that this whole thing we have goin on on earth is a swinging door.

it is not the end.

even though i'm in a season of lament and pain, there is a hope that surpasses my understanding and i couldn't live without it. it rips my heart up inside and angers the hell out of me to know that there's an exorbitant amount of people out there who have such a terrible and false view of Christianity. i want to be able to articulate what the loving and sacrificial life of that beat up 3o-something year old carpenter did for me and how it changes everything. but i never seem to know how to. or at least i worry too much about how it comes out of my mouth and how people will take it. but maybe, hopefully, over the years, my disorganized and unhinged deliberations will make sense or help someone.

it's hard to submit. to let go. it's probably my biggest weakness. but how can i make myself fully available to God if i don't? what opportunities to heal or learn or grow would i be missing out on if i constantly licked my own wounds and kept my heart shut up in a box where no one could touch it?

a lot.

ode to Mumford and Sons. this song has helped me breathe this week.



video


And after the storm,

I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

I will die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and mine so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

4 comments:

  1. Hey, I was curious to see your blog because I'm from W-S too, and I remember you from Acad. of Dance Arts. I thought I'd read about your latest dancing endeavor, but I was amazed to see you pour out your heart. I'll be praying that God gives you the words to say and the hands to reach out to others who need a Godly friend.

    Hi to Lilly! I know her from Forsyth :)

    In God's love,
    Carrie

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  2. thank you so much for your kind words carrie!! i'll for sure tell lilly hello for you! happy st. patty's day lady. :)

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  3. Hey Elizabeth, I wanted to stop by and see how you're doing these days since it's been awhile since I read your blog. I've prayed for you each time you've crossed my mind though. Reading this post (that's now almost a month old) brought up a lot of thoughts - I thought I'd share a few.

    I lost my brother over Labor Day weekend 2009, so you can be assured that the pain of loss resonates with me. Your post here made me think of the give & take of grieving. Like how I can "give" of my grief: being able to talk openly and plainly about my brother's death. And how I also "take" from my grief: I still haven't gathered the courage to erase him from my phone. I had to laugh at myself a little when I read how you've managed to take that step already :) - but I also think that's such a great detail that brings up an incredibly important point:

    Your grief is your own.

    If I've learned anything about grief and mourning in the time since my brother passed, it's that nobody can do it for you and nobody can take it away from you - and God reigns supreme over it all. Grief has been an intriguing journey with God - like you, I've felt that hope from God, that improbable buoyancy of hope like... I dunno, something beautiful... like, His very breath into my soul.

    I'm praying for you still, sister, because I know God's the only One who can mend and heal your hurt. No matter what, the pain leaves scars, but I say with certain conviction that those scars are like beauty marks when seen by the light of God's hope and love. Much love to you.

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  4. hi lizzie,

    thank you for articulating how difficult it is to face the loss of a loved one. wednesday was the six year anniversary of my father's death. sometimes i still can't believe how raw the emotions related can become. the first poem i wrote in response to his death was about a photograph i have of my father in a tuxedo and me in a bridal costume when i was five years old. so sad that we won't have our daddies to walk us down the aisle, but so lucky that we have such wonderful families to support us. my brother did a wonderful job walking rains down the aisle and i know he'll do the same for me.

    holding you in the light~
    ~amp

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