justin's reflections on loss, love, and personal growth

Ever since July 23, 2003, the day we said our last goodbyes at the cemetery, I knew our lives would never be the same as they once were. We also knew our lives would have to continue on somehow, no matter how difficult this would be or the loss we would have to bear on a daily basis. And more significantly, it would be my dad'd desire that we all continue on what God called us to do.

The day after the burial, when everyone was gone and the four of us were left alone, stunned, and emotionally exhausted over what transpired over the past two months - was the day we began to feel the pangs of our loss. I simply sat there in bed looking at the ceiling asking God, "what just happened?" In that same conversation, I couldn’t help but break emotionally and share my loss with him. I simply missed my dad and it only feels stronger with each passing day. Without having prior experience with the death of a parent, I honestly believe it will only get worse before it ever gets better, if one could qualify it that way.

People who pray for miracles usually don't get miracles...But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayers answered...Their prayers helped them tap hidden reserves of faith and courage which were not available to them before. - Harold S. Kushner

Despite the range of thoughts I was having that particular day, there was something in me that felt compelled to express this process I was about to embark on, and for me, writing seemed to be the most cathartic thing I could do to move beyond my immediate circumstances and still carry with on with my life.

The truth is that none of us grieve in isolation, as much as we like to think we do. We, in fact, grieve as a community because we are part of humanity. When one hurts, others suffer also. I have decided to therefore share part of this personal journey with others. With this openness, I’m not looking for someone to give me a reason or an explanation for what just happened. That is something I will wrestle with for my entire earthly life, and something I must work through with my God. If anything, my reflections are more for my own source of healing; however, if for some reason God would choose to use this to help another person going through a similar situation, then it's an even greater blessing.

To view some of my entries, visit the My Own Thoughts on Loss, Grief, & Bereavement section.