I wanted to officially state that I am back and that I really have appreciated all of you and your prayers as I went to my Grandfather’s funeral. It was hard—not only the 2 days of traveling each way—but the business, the lack of all things Orthodox (I did go to my church on Sunday morning though) and of course the loss of my Grandfather. It was not until I saw my Grandfather in a private viewing before the funeral that it really seemed real; not that I had not cried before this but that seeing my Grandfather’s hands—big and used to using tools—that I realized the depth of shock and disbelief that grief brings.
I have printed out the two entries I made about my Grandfather on this blog and the comments; my cousin Bryan, who is like a brother to me through his friendship, is in the peace corps and is on the other side of the world and could not be there for the funeral. I will be sending a copy of your care and prayers to him. (When we both lived in Michigan two years ago both of us made St. Nicholas our church home). I am really comforted by Victoria’s comment about still missing her Grandfather—that it is acknowledged that the loss does not somehow disappear after time—and the hugs from many—and Neo telling me that at vespers my Grandfather was prayed for in a prayer to the Theotokos.
When I am in the quiet of my house (studio apartment) is when I realize how much I miss my Grandfather and that I am in mourning. Even so, this is verse that I read this morning from my more Protestant-based daily flip calendar, from the paraphrase “The Message”…
“[Jesus] comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
I talked with a good friend of mine from library school yesterday who lost someone who was like a mother to her and one of her best friends. The grief she is going through is deep…and that we could talk about it, and about what Phil told me, that we were not made for death or to experience the death of others.
I think this should become one of my prayers—that as I mourn that I can be used to comfort others as they go through the deep waters of grief and loss.
Thank you all again for your prayers, how blessed I am to belong to communities like this one.