“Ghosts are the manifestation of the longing of loss.” ― Stewart Stafford
I got to babysit my 18 month old grandson last week. We had a great time together. it was just the two of us in the house. Each time he heard some creak or the “haunted refrigerator” he would stop and prick up his ears. He wondered if someone else was here with us or maybe if his parents were coming back to get him.
Now, every evening, I spend alone in my house. It seems haunted not by sounds but by memories and by empty places that were once occupied. I too keep wondering if the front door will open and someone will come home from a late night at work.
My wife has finished her five year battle with cancer. She has passed away to heaven. We spent all of our energy and attention on this ongoing battle – it was going very well right up until the very end. I hadn’t planned on being here alone when the war was finished.
There’s so much to do. I stay very busy but that never fills in all of the empty places. The house isn’t really haunted. It’s my memory, my heart and soul that’s trying to find a new peace.
We live in a world that works very hard to try and make heaven on earth. When we can’t find it, we often react in terrible ways. We quit, we divorce, we sulk, we walk out, we lose our faith. Heaven isn’t here on earth. Heaven can be brought to earth when we carry its truth in our heart and let it, like a flood, flow out of our life. My mission on earth is to bring the truth of heaven to people I meet each day.
I’m walking on a haunted road of grief these days. But I’m walking. None of us is exempt from pain and suffering. But we must all walk through this world as it is. God has made promises to his people again and again about his constant presence:
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. – Isaiah 43:2
While these days of grief seem strange and haunted they are passing away. The future, filled with hope, is always approaching. Make sure that you are that representative of heaven’s hope to everyone around you every single day. Grief is always too near.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ― Anne Lamott