Casting Off the Mantle of Grief

Update: Just wanted to tell y'all that STELLAN IS ON HIS WAY HOME.
Praise God for answering all of our prayers!

Original Post:

This may seem a little out of left field, but this has just been on my heart lately, and this place is usually the best way for me to work things out ... writing often helps me purge, so to speak ... so here goes ...

Y'all know I like to keep this blog upbeat. Slightly humorous if possible. A bit fun. I don't often deal with deep subjects here but this is one that has been weighing on me, so get ready for some Serious Discussion. And this may ramble a bit, so be patient :)

It's a little surreal, being happy for the life of one child when you're still dealing with the loss of another.

I come from a line of Strong People. On my mom's side of the family, we're eat up with Irish and Welsh ancestry, so we tend to be an emotional people (boy howdy!). But we are also a strong-willed people, and all seem to have an innate understanding that life isn't always fair, crap happens, and at some point, you've got to get on with life. Even when death is involved. Deal, and move on.

Move on. I think those are two words that are often misunderstood. After a death, there will be a time when someone will tell you it's time to "move on", that so-and-so would want you to "move on", that "moving on" is normal and necessary. I don't necessarily disagree, I just don't think there's a proper understanding of "moving on".

I don't think moving on has anything to do with forgetting. Moving on has to do with living, not existing. And there is a big difference there, my friends. Honoring the person you love and lost in the way you choose to live, and remembering them with joy, not sorrow, isn't always easy. It doesn't mean sorrow disappears. I just think living with joy honors our Butterbean more than dwelling in despair.

I love Samantha. There are days I still cry over the loss of her. I know my life would be infinitely more blessed if she were in my lap right now as I shared stories of her day with you, as opposed to speaking of her death. My life would be more blessed with Samantha here ... but it was still blessed because of her.

I want to remember those moments and minutes with her with JOY, because she blessed our lives.

My life was blessed because of her life, however short is was on this Earth. And "moving on" in no way means that I will forget her. That can never happen. But I don't want to spend every day covered in a mantle of grief. And I believe it's my choice to not let that happen.

I can choose to remember Samantha with tears and sadness, covered in an overwhelming grief the likes of which no happiness can penetrate....or, I can "move on". I can be thankful for the gift of her life.

I can remember that she had her daddy's nose. And my mouth. And long fingers, like the piano player she would have been forced into being :) I can smile when I think of her, and remember her as the joy she was intended by God to be to us.

Or I can wrap myself in that mantle and wallow.

And really, I'm not a wallow-er.

I know there will still be difficult days for me. I know sometimes the thought of her will bring me to tears. And that's okay. 25 years from now that will still be okay.

But between now and then, as Samantha rejoices in Heaven with the God who blessed us with her and who one day we will meet with her, would her life not be better reflected in us through love and joy and an abundant life in God, here, right now? I think so. It's how I choose to honor her. To live life in Christ, in love and with sustaining grace, remembering that even though I am marked with sorrow, that my earthly joy is but a reflection of the joy we will one day have together in Heaven.

Samantha is in Heaven. She is in a more glorious place than we can comprehend. She's happy. Why shouldn't we be, too?