This might be strange to some but before I turned 30 I was excited for my upcoming birthday. I was eager to see what this next decade would bring and because most people think I look a lot younger than my real age, I assumed turning thirty would magically make me seem older. Surprise it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, when I’m sixty and people think I’m 45, I’m sure that will make me feel great, but on the flip side when you are 29 and people think you have just graduated from college and then they can’t understand how you already have two kids. It gets old real quick, explaining how old you really are. I was all ready to spend my birthday with my friends and family, that was until my world was flipped upside down…
Two days before my birthday I was creating a mermaid cake for a little girls birthday party when my phone rang. I looked down and my dad was calling me. Now the reason I point this out is because my dad doesn’t normally just call to talk and it was the middle of the day when he should have been at work. I answered the phone all cheerful and said “Hello” as I continued to work on the cake. When my dad responded with “hey”, I could tell something was wrong, his voice was soft and his speech was slower than normal. He began with “Mom wanted me to call you because your uncle has been in an accident at work…” At this moment, time froze. As he was saying these words my mind raced trying to make sense of it all and when he finished the sentence saying “he passed away” my heart sunk, it sunk so deep. I tried to stay composed because at the time I had two very young kids who loved my uncle and my husband on the other side of the kitchen and I didn’t want to alarm them. I think the only word that I could muster up was “ok”. I felt like time stopped and I didn’t know how to process what he was telling me. After hanging up the phone with my dad I told my husband what had happened, but I have to be honest I don’t know what I said, I was in shock. And I think I stayed in the state of shock for the next few days, including my thirtieth birthday.
The day before the funeral during the family visitation before everyone else came to pay their respects. I walked in with my extended family and there was a heavy weight on all of us. After a little while the heavy weight that we walked in with was lifted and a peace covered that building. It is really hard to explain. I say peace because it wasn’t like everything was just magically ok, it was that we had peace about it. Similar to the song “It Is Well”. If you haven’t read the story behind that song, go check it out. It is saying “it is well with my soul even when the chaos of life around you won’t stop spinning.” It’s putting your life all in God’s hands and trusting him with the future. If His peace wasn’t covering our lives we would not have made it through the next couple days. God is good even when life isn’t good.
I remember the last thing he had said to me “You guys did a great thing by moving back to this area. It will be so good for the girls and our family.” Little did he know that my girls would bring comfort to some of our family members during this time. His legacy lives on and we will always talk about him and his memories with our girls. I’m so thankful that they got to meet him and spend time with him.
Loss and grief hits every person differently and every situation is different. My uncle was taken away unexpectedly and way too young. But we remember and celebrate his life. He was an amazing Christian man with strong faith. We know he is in heaven and that we will see him again one day. That is the hope we cling on to.
If you are struggling with a loss or grief always know I am available to pray with you or I’m here if you need someone to talk to. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need prayer!
Talk to you next Monday.