Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Aches of Grief

It doesn't matter how long a loved one has been gone, at times you feel the aches of grief. I've seen them in so many people over the years. I've felt them myself. Our family has been in major transition mode. Exciting things! Yet, the aches of grief come.

That's the thing about losing a loved one ... the rest of us are left to go on living. Living can be hard. It can take great effort. Two years ago this coming October my Daddy took his last breath. So much has happened since that time.

I launched a speaking ministry. Dad never even knew that was on the horizon - I was gonna tell him the next time we visited.

My oldest guy graduated high school. Dad {Grandpa} was so missed that day.

I traveled to four states. Often thinking of my dad's years out on the road.

Same oldest guy went off to college and got ENGAGED! ;)  Dad would have shook his head, yet been so happy for him.

My 'lil Texan girl worked hard to begin learning to read.  Dad would have understood that sometimes learning doesn't come easy.

My middle guy bought his first old pick up.  I can just imagine Dad's head tilted to the side with a grin bursting of great joy for him.

My youngest guy has grown at least a foot.  I can still hear Dad's words to me - kids need to both work hard and play hard.

My baby girl is starting Kindergarten.  She was hardly more than a toddler last time dad got to sit at the counter and color with her.

I wrote my first book!  Never got to tell him it was started.

Our family will grow this year in marriage.  No doubt the aches of grief will be felt extra.

You never know when the aches of grief will set in.  Sometimes it's a smell, a milestone, a memory.  Grief is unique.  No two people go through it the same way.  Grace is needed.

My Daddy traveled all over the USA in his big truck with trailer behind.  I smile when I think of the joy he found in knowing people from all parts of the country.  As a child, some of that I didn't understand.  Later though, as a grown woman, when I stood in a receiving line for hours as they passed through to pay their respects, coming from all parts of the country .... then I saw a bigger picture.

In this season, I, too, enjoy meeting friends spanning the globe.  I prefer plane over 18-wheeler, but the joy is the same.

Dad left his imprint on so many lives.  Half of them he probably wasn't even aware of how much.  At times when I feel the aches of grief, I am reminded to consider the imprints I am leaving behind.  None of us know the number of our days.  Heart attack, auto accidents and cancer don't ask our permission to invade our lives.

While I absolutely love traveling and enjoying making a difference in farther away places, I don't ever want to miss my opportunity in impacting lives right here in my home.

During the grueling last two months of completing 31 Nuggets of Hope, I experienced some of the fruit of my Dad's lasting impact.  Truth is - I wanted to just downright give up.  Quite frankly, it just seemed like too much to accomplish while being momma in this season.  But then I'd think back to how I was raised and how we were taught to see a job all the way through.

It's true, my Daddy spent most of my childhood out on the interstate.  I couldn't count the times he told me though over the years, especially after I was grown, that he knew I had a momma home taking care of me.  He was deeply thankful for that.

So whether I'm home with my kiddos, or off on another trip - I hope with God's help I can leave a lasting impact.  Even when the aches of grief come, I know I don't face it alone.

A heart attack may have taken my Daddy's life, but I have a Heavenly Father who is ETERNAL.  I never have to fear Him being taken from me.  For that I am so glad.  Because of HIM, I can keep growing and living.  He is my JOY, my PEACE and my HOPE!


  1. I so understand what you write about grief. Praying for you.

  2. Hello Shelly;Thank you for sharing. We can definately relate to everything that you have written here. Will be praying for comfort and peace for you and your family!!!
    We lost my mom (in-law) three years ago, since then so much has happened and everytime an event or special moment happens we always think of her.(w/tears) She was a beautiful description of what unconditional love is. We are so thankful to know that we will see her again, in that hope we find peace.
    Have a beautifully blessed day!

  3. Hello Shelly; Thank you for sharing...We will be praying for peace and comfort for you and your family. We definately understand what you are writing about. We lost my mom (in-law) about 3 1/2 years ago. Now whenever we have special moments, milestones, or any other event we are always thinking of her.(with a few tears) Mom was an extraordinary women that was a perfect example of unconditional love. She never met a stranger and always had a smile...Love and miss her to pieces.
    We know she is with our Heavenly Father and in that we have hope to see her so thankful to have met her and had her a part of my life for that time!!

  4. Such a sweet, sweet post honoring your father.

    Just followed a link over re: your book. Looking forward to it. Added myself as a follower.