18-months (give or take a week or two.) Sometimes I still stand in my kitchen while washing dishes and wonder, is this really my life?  Did I really survive this last year and a half?

I have gotten caught up in the busyness of 4 boys, and I haven’t stopped lately to let the grief come again, because honestly, it always comes.  It has become like an arthritic knee, an ache I can count on to drop in unexpectedly and just make itself comfortable.

I ran across my TO DO list from the funeral home yesterday.  I was cleaning out my old day-planner and there the list was, tucked right into some pages.  I just held it for a minute, and then tucked it back into the pages.  I am not quite ready to let that piece of paper go.  The graphite, mixed with tears.  Such a painful reminder of what cruelty this life can hold.

The second item on the list, is what caught the  breath in my chest.  “Someone to carry the casket to the grave.  (1 or 2 people.)  Her casket was so tiny, that it only took one person to lift it from the hearse.  There is something so ugly about those words.  Casket, grave….not for a child.

My dad and Kevin’s dad, carried her to her place beneath the trees.  Two grandpa’s, completing the ultimate act of service.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shut my eyes, and not see them bent low to the ground, dirt on their knees and hands as they put a tiny white casket into the frozen ground.  Surreal.  Almost like a dream. Almost.

Like I have said before, I am not sure why God chose us to walk this road? I only know that I will use this struggle to bring glory to His name. 

Because he tells me in Isaiah 58:

My life will begin to glow in the darkness, my shadowed life will be bathed in sunlight. He will always show me where to go. He will give me a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong  bones. I’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. I’ll use the old rubble of my past life to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of my past.

I hold to that, that my life will glow from this dark season.  That I will be strengthened and begin to thrive again.



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  1. I have no words, Jess, just a hug. I am so sorry. I don’t know why God allowed this but I know that he is walking right there with you through this season. hugs to you.


  2. Wish I had words of wisdom, your words are so beautiful and I can’t think of any. Your post made my own punch gut kick in, I recently lost a pregnancy (12 weeks) and my grandfather on the same day. Somedays I don’t think of it and others punch gut!

  3. Jess,

    Somehow I found you on twitter. I read your post and found myself in tears. I don’t have the words to say that will comfort you. I know that the Holy Spirit can do that and it sounds like you know Him well. You are brave to share such a heartbreaking time with us. I will honor that by praying for you and your family.

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