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Sunday, March 28, 2010

"For all of the loved ones gone."

Ten years ago today, our family lost the nucleus around which we revolved our lives. That was the day that Elsie Roberts, my beloved grandmother - and who was called "Granny" by everyone who knew her - was taken Home.

(Here's the memorial write-up that I did a few years ago on the occasion of what would have been Granny's 100th birthday.)

That was the beginning of a very long and dark period of my life (which might have been pretty dark to begin with). And for quite some time after that I was horribly depressed... and especially about thoughts of death and dying. Granny's passing would be the first of many people that I loved and cared about that passed away within a short period of time.

There isn't a day that's gone by since that afternoon ten years ago, that I haven't thought of Granny. But now at last I can let go, and continue living. Because I know now that the life that we see isn't all that there is. I realize more than ever before that God doesn't create something without purpose or meaning. Especially the good things... and Granny was one of the most good people that I have ever known.

Ten years later... and I wouldn't be saying this if I didn't know from hard-earned experience... but I am at last comforted by the knowledge that God is good and graceful, and that His is the peace that surpasses all understanding. The thought of dying doesn't bother me anymore, because I have accepted that death is not entirely a bad thing. Yes, it is a dire consequence of living in this fallen world. But it is also very much a part of life. Death is an inevitable component of growth, and I'm not talking physically either. I like to think that it's how God gives us an escape from this world after we have at long last exhausted everything else that we could possibly do to learn and grow and experience here.

So on this day, on the tenth anniversary of one of the worst days of my life, I cannot be filled with grief and sadness. Instead I thank God that He gave us Granny. Just as I thank Him that I will see her again in the fullness of time... along with everyone else that I have cared for.

About a year and a half ago this song was used in the commercial for Gears of War 2. I'd never heard it until then, and this past fall I finally looked it up. And when I first listened, really listened to it, I found myself swept up in a lot of emotion about my own grandmother and the blessed hope that she isn't so far away after all. That "forever's not so long".

This is one of the most profoundly moving and beautiful songs that I've heard in recent memory. It really sums up what I've gone through in thinking of Granny and all of the others that have been taken from us. It's given me some comfort, and maybe by sharing it here it can be a comfort to others who are going through similar.

So here is "How It Ends" by DeVotchKa...