Words of Hope: Grief

Hope, Dad’s dog knew he was dying. She lay by his bed and would rest her head on his arm. When my dad passed away, we knew that my mom could not keep her because she was too strong and springy for Mom and had already knocked her down before. Across the street from my parents live a loving family named the Jamies. The Jamies have a young son named Ben, one of the kindest and most servant-hearted kids you will ever meet. He would often shoot hoops outside, and Dad, of course, made friends with their family. The Jamies became very close to Mom and Dad in the last year. They would graciously take Hope and dog sit when Dad flew down to UCLA for his cancer trial.

When Dad died, mom took the pillow he had lain on and gave it to Hope. She sniffed around it deeply and intensely, then let out a deep moan and cry. The Jamies surrounded her, holding her and comforting her. They said it was obvious she knew my dad was gone.

Grief is strange in that it hits at different unexpected times. A letter, a small phrase, a scent, a sound can instantly remind me Dad is gone. But I can now say with experience what it says in Matthew, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” I have felt deeply surrounded by love when I have cried out to God. I have felt peace and Dad’s presence. I have felt reminders that he is cheering me on from his new home and letting me know this is not the end but only a new and glorious beginning with much more in store.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4