Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grieving in April (trigger alert)

Well, that was a strange week. I'm sure a lot of you in the U.S. would agree. For me it was especially strange given the last topic I wrote about on here, BEFORE the Boston Marathon and subsequent events.

Late Monday evening (April 15th) Russian time before bed, I wrote this:
He knows exactly what we are going through, and He has perfect, albeit mysterious, reasons, for allowing our loved ones to suffer and even die. So even though I grieve, I still affirm the perfect sovereignty of God's will.

But I didn't know how soon it would happen AGAIN. Literally a few minutes after I published the post, I went online and started seeing headlines about Boston. People were injured and possible killed; terrified and confused. And sad. 

I didn't know anyone present, and I don't have many ties to Boston, despite having been born and raised in Massachusetts. But it was upsetting that an inspiring, family-friendly tradition had been tarnished by bloodshed. While I had sat at my computer writing about grief, the bombers were getting ready to take other people's lives.

I went to bed late, after reading the news over and over again.

The next morning (April 16th), I woke up to the news that my grandfather had died. I have to admit, while a bombing is sad in principle, it's not the same as losing a family member. And that was really when I had to figure out how to put my own thoughts into practice. I think it is easier to write about tragedies that aren't so close to home.

As a result of all these events, I have been thinking about death a lot. There are times when it happens to someone else and there are times when it's close to you. When I see elderly people, I think of my grandfather. When I hear about anything medical-related, I think of the blood-soaked pavement in Boston and of all those people suffering. When I'm in a car and it swerves, or the driver slams on the brakes, or someone doesn't stop for a pedestrian, I think of the car that likely "clipped" another, causing the huge, fiery crash involving my dear orphans. And then there was my friend whose mother recently remarked that he'd likely had strep for awhile before his fatal illness, he'd just thought he was "tired"...how often do I, do any of us get that feeling? Just the other day it hurt to swallow...I thought I was coming down with something. And then there are just thoughts about mortality in general.

It is hard to come to terms with someone not being around anymore. It is confusing; a mystery.

I want to make it clear that I am not "worrying" or being a hypochondriac. I am just contemplating what it means to be human. There is nothing that can prevent us from eventually dying: not seatbelts, nor flu shots, nor any other safety measures. We have to come to peace with this.

Lately I have been trying to pray through these thoughts as they come. I ask the Lord for protection of different kinds, for peace in dangerous situations, for the Lord to care for my loved ones if something happens to me, for care for ME if I lose someone to death, and for the strength to endure a painful death, if that is in my future.

I am sorry if it all sounds upsetting. All it is, is facing my fears and surrendering them to the Lord. And I feel at peace.


  1. Hearing or reading about these tragedies just seems so far removed from my own life...as if something like this could never happen to me or someone I love. But that is not true - all of human life is so fragile, and life in this fallen world very unpredictable. Thank God that we can rest in the peace of Christ, knowing we are in His hands regardless of what happens or might lie ahead.

    1. I usually feel removed, too. Even with my other eulogy posts they weren't people who were THAT close to me. But this time I felt like I really had to think about the reality of death. Fragility is just what I meant here, although I forgot to include it in the post.


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