The darkest day of my life was five years ago today. I thought I would be perpetually sad. Others told us losing a child is the worst grief one can experience. I questioned that at the time. Wouldn’t losing your spouse, the other half of your being, be the worst grief? Now I have experienced both, and I can say losing your soul mate is the worst grief.
Five years ago today, I didn’t think I could ever be happy again. Diane Eble recently wrote about Isaiah 61:3 — “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.” Jesus read these words in the synagogue in Luke 4:18-21. It is through grace which comes from Jesus that we can give God our ashes, our sorrow, our grief and receive beauty for our ashes, joy for sorrow, praise in place of despair. Nor am I wallowing in the grief of a lost marriage. As Diane wrote, “It is spiritual alchemy at its highest and grandest. And it comes only through Jesus, who gives us his righteousness so that we may glorify God.” As Romans 8:28 says, all things do work together for good.
Another favorite writer, Max Lucado, wrote that we speak of life as short, yet compared to eternity, who has a long life? “In God’s plan every life is long enough and every death is timely. And though you and I might wish for a longer life, God knows better.” Max says even though we wish our loved ones had lived longer, they don’t wish that! “While we’re mourning at a grave, they’re marveling at heaven. While we’re questioning God, they’re praising Him!”
I dislike the verbiage of “moving on.” I have not moved on; I have found reasons to be thankful Karin did not live longer than she did. The photos and mementos of her surrounding me bring comfort. Clearly, for God’s purposes, she had fulfilled His plan for her life. She will always be close to the surface in my heart, and I will always be proud of and grateful for the way she lived her life. I pray that my life will be a beacon as bright as her light was.