I am an orphan. When my mom died in May, I said that out loud a lot. I found myself thinking....I am too old to be an orphan....I've been married for 22 years and have 5 children....I can't be considered an orphan. I also found myself thinking....I am too young to be an orphan....my parents died way too early and at much too young of an age....my 5 children need to have their grandparents....I need my mom and dad. I didn't realize what being an orphan might really feel like until this past Tuesday. If you have lost someone you love, you know that there are ups and downs that go with grief. Some days are perfectly fine and others are just not. Tuesday was just not. My dad died almost 9 years ago, and I still have those "not so good" days. Those don't ever go away, I think there is just more space in between the "good" and the "not so good" days. Tuesday was a day that I found myself needing my mama. I needed to walk in her house and hear her say, "Hi Lo!" I needed her to help me through some stuff, to listen and encourage me like she has done my whole life. I needed to lean in and give her a gentle kiss and hug her frail body. I needed a place to retreat, and I realized for the first time in my life....I didn't have one. I spent my whole day sad and cried most of the day, and for the first time since she died; I pictured her and my dad watching me with broken hearts. I have never imagined anything but joy in heaven, but on Tuesday; I could imagine them crying tears in heaven. I am reminded of what's to come.....and I long for that!
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4
I have a dear dear friend, who is an "orphan" as well. She lost her mom when she was 2 and her dad a few months before my mom. Today she sent me a text that said "Thinking about you missing my dad like crazy today...no idea why!" I immediately responded and an exchange began. Through our conversation, I think we both realized that those days will come and go; and sometimes we will know why and sometimes we won't. We both just really wanted to talk to our mom/dad, and it is difficult to know that can't be done. We realized that we both felt very alone even though we are surrounded by people who love us, but the most important thing we realized is that....we understand each other, we have each other's backs, we support each other, we have an "orphan" bond. It's hard to explain things to people, who haven't experienced them. When my friend, Leslie, lost her 2 boys at birth; I didn't then and wouldn't now ever imagine to know what that was like. She formed bonds with other mothers who had lost children, and I think it was a really good thing. When those bonds are formed, you can just lay it out there and share yourself in the raw and broken state you are in; and God is right there in the middle of it with you. Praise God for the people He brings in your life, for the text message you needed to receive, for brokenness which is where you will leave claw marks by clinging to Him. And praise Him for always being right there in the middle of it.