Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is it okay to be forgotten?

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at the cemetery.  I looked to my left and saw a fresh grave and I sighed.  Someone else is going through loss, grief, letting go.  It turned out to be the grave of a woman in her 90's.  It made me smile just a little.  What a long life.  My eyes swept the cemetery and I thought--we all die.  Every one of us.  Sooner.  Or Later.  Life can be agonizingly short.  There are too many graves of  precious babies and toddlers who never grew up.  And there are the long lives--perhaps fully lived.  Perhaps not.  The stories in a cemetery are mostly a mystery.  And many of those people are absolutely forgotten on earth.

One of the biggest fears of a parent is to lose a child.  The next great fear after one has lost a child is "What if my child is forgotten?"  I have talked to many parents who have lost children and I have not found one parent free of this fear.  It is always present in mind and heart.  What if no one asks me about my child?  What if I am all alone in my remembering? On June 13th, it is two years since  Christina walked this earth.  I cannot believe it has been two whole years.  I wrestle.

One of my most vivid mourning stories happened 4 years before Christina left this earth.  We were on a cruise. Christina and her story were well known.  Her engaging personality was evident and so many people were enjoying her vitality.  I watched and then I cried.  The realization was that someday I would be with a group of people who had never met Christina and I would have no adequate way to describe her.  I was devastated. 

My day of reckoning came in the cemetery a couple of weeks ago.  I felt the Lord whispering to my heart, "On this earth, you will be forgotten someday.  Christina will be forgotten.  Isaiah will be forgotten.   But I will not forget.  And that is all that matters."

Truth brings freedom.  Instead of clinging to the hope that someone will remember Christina, I stand in the strength that Jesus remembers.  And that is enough for me.

Malachi 3:16-17
"Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.  "On the day when I act," says the LORD Almighty, "they will be my treasured possession...."

My heart soars with the thought of a scroll of remembrance.  Can you just see the LORD saying, "Oh, there is Christina talking about me and honoring me.  Write it all down in my scroll of remembrance. She is my treasured possession."

His remembrance of us is all that really matters.

A few days after Christina went on Hospice Care, we arranged a video session.  It was a bit out of her comfort zone but she knew we would need to hear her voice one more time.  She answered many questions that day.  There were probably ten people in the room, laughing and crying with her.  Here is a little sample.  It is a timely reminder for those of us still walking this earth.