Monday, February 16, 2009

Grief... A Troublesome Creature

... we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

I've read this verse many times over the past almost 9 months... thought about it far more... talked about it to a lesser extent... even preached from this passage once.

It was the theme of Luke's committal service.

Its message has in many ways become our life's motif.

Grieving with hope.

Though I am holding on to the hope that is promised, I have not "felt" very hopeful of late.

I guess that's part of what happens with the loss of a child.

This grief thing is a troublesome creature.

It forces me like nothing else ever has to live in the tension of unbelief and belief, uncertainty and certainty, sadness and gladness, brokenness and redemption, bitter and sweet, anger and calm, fear and courage, weakness and strength, despair and hope, darkness and light.    

This concept of grieving with hope is rife with paradoxical realities.

I find that speaking and thinking about our loss is both cleansing and caustic. It just depends on the day... the moment really. 

The tears that fall have the same effect... they open and purify the wound but they also prompt the realization that this wound will always weep because there is no getting over an injury like this.

The reminders of shattered dreams and hoped-for-things are all too frequent. They are as certain and unwanted as taxes coming due. They are anticipated and dreaded like a trip to the dentist. They lurk and then surprise like a thief. They taunt and they haunt. 

This grief thing is a troublesome creature.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled. 
But You, O Lord - how long?
(Psalm 6:2-3)

23 comments:

Devon said...

couldn't have said it better...

grief is an ugly creature.

Blameless said...

My heart aches for what you and Nicol have been through, and are going through.

The heart will one day heal, but the scar that remains is a constant reminder of what could have been.

In order to be reunited with loved one(s) lost, we must praise and honour the One who could have prevented such agonizing torment.

God bless you and your family,
Hugs,
Sarah

txmomx6 said...

Yes. It. Is.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing and I do believe the same we are sad but in a different way because we believe in HIM, but still is hard.
Prayers

Becke' said...

Grief is a troublesome creature. I couldn't agree more. I have read your story since the start. I have fallen in love with your baby Luke and can't wait to meet him in heaven. Your family has been in my prayers. May His presence be real...may He come with healing in His wings.

Stacy D said...

I could not have said it better myself. The paradox and of it all can be so taxing...but God is gracious and continues to allow us to limp on and meets us in our brokenness.

Still praying for you guys. Any word on the sale of your home yet? Maybe I missed that update...

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you both. You will always have memories. Don't ever forget. If you ever want to go on another road trip, our door is always open. Loretta Denny (Oklahoma).

Anonymous said...

I just pray for you and your family. I know it is a wound that will not heal but I pray for your peace. God Bless.....

~ shi ~ said...

oh, it gets better, it really does! Cling, hang on and do not let satan steal one moment of your grief and use it for his own joy!
You are prayed for, moment by moment! Hugs for you and your family. Shi~

Jen said...

Still praying for you all. My heart aches everytime I come to your site. Luke reminds me of my youngest boy so much. I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of your hurt and pain. Also, and I don't know how this will be to you... But I have read on other blogs such as yours that you can (and so can Angie and Todd with Audrey) claim Luke on your taxes. All of the mothers said that they were so pleased to be able to... it proved that their beoved children lived. So, yeah. Just incase it helps.

Kristy said...

Oh does my heart ache for you - and for all who have suffered the loss of a child. No words can say what the leap in my heart feels as I read your words and think of what that pain must be like. You and your family are always in my prayers.

Ang said...

Please know that you are in our daily thoughts and prayers.
Ang

Anonymous said...

I pray for God's peace for you and your family. I am truly sorry for your loss- my heart breaks each time I think of you. God Bless.

Claire, Deep Water Leaf Society said...

My heart goes out to you and your family and at the same time I find your post so beautiful. Having also lost a child, I have walked that tightrope between despair and hope. As you write about the tension of these "paradoxical realities," I am reminded of something I once heard from Brother David Steindl-Rast (a Benedictine monk well-versed in Christianity and Buddhism): (paraphrasing) it is in the moments of deepest paradox when we find ourselves closest to God.
Wishing you peace...
Claire

Celie said...

Father God the Spongberg family in distress they called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard your voice out of his temple, and your cry came before him, even into his ears. Lord I praise you as Spongberg family reaching the one who can give strength.Lord you knoweth the way that they take: when he hath tried them, they shall come forth as gold.
Spongbergs how is your soul? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, [Perfective a. Conducing to make perfect or bring to perfection; followed by of. Praise and adoration are actions perfective of the soul.the Lord dwells/inhabits on the praises of his people] and my God. O Lord God these words hold such truth for a soul in such sorrow of heart as this family . Lord we praise you with thanksgiving for you are the author of this family. You are the keeper of the broken hearted. When we praise you we are in oneness with you . Our soul is filled with your presence, strength, the power to press forward to overcome. For the which cause I also suffer these things: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Because he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Thank you father that I can know you hold this couple in the palm of your hand. Strengh to strength glory to glory,second by second in the fullness of His time .
Greg and Nicole hold on to each other never allow satin in this season to take advantage to sift your love for each other. Sing out in praise with a loud voice for the LORD hearkened, and heard it. This my prayer for you this day.
Celie

Julie D. said...

I can't imagine what you guys are going through and I won't pretend that I do......BUT please know that you have SO many people praying for you and lifting you up in prayer....you will continue to need this as the days progress on....You are in my thoughts and prayers often!!

Love in Christ, Julie Doody

Athena said...

I just stumbled across your site tonight after first reading about Audrey. We lost our 5th child, a son we named Nolan James, to SIDS in 2005. He was 6 weeks old and it was a devastating loss. We are approaching his 4th birthday in a few months and boy is that hard to believe. He is still very much a part of our family! We still grieve for what could have been. Keep on writing. It helped me a LOT in those early days, weeks & months.

I'm also finding your house selling stuff interesting. Our house has been on the market for 3.5 months and I can relate to much of what you've written minus your one contract that fell through. We've had interest but no offers. In this market we're glad that people are asking to see it...but an offer would be appreciated! It does seem like houses are starting to move a little quicker now or so I keep telling myself. We have 5 kiddos in the house and it's hard work getting the house show ready woth each call. (We had our 6th baby about a year and a half after Nolan's death.)

Ang said...

Hope you are having a good evening! Prayers for peace
Ang

sheila said...

A very troublesome creature, one that tends to sneak up even in the happiest times. UGH....But thank the Lord we do have hope, and it's real and it's true and it is what gets us through each day. Hope of a life in Eternity with loved ones and a Heavenly Father who will fill us with his Glory and Love and shine so brightly that any questions we may have we no longer matter. We will be filled with peace, peace. To be filled with peace; oh my Lord fill us today with peace and joy. In God's Love, sheila

Kimmy B. said...

Greg,
Just read on Angie's blog that sweet little Luke and Audrey are going to be laid next to each other! Your situations are heart breaking, but what a joy it will be to have the precious, precious babies next to each other.

Kristi said...

It's such a struggle of faith, to continue glorifying and being thankful to God, while hurting so much because of the loss of a child and wondering why such a thing had to happen. Every trial we go through as its reason, but it feels like the answers just can't come soon enough. But we trust Him, we honor Him, and we know He knows our pain because He sacrificed for us. It will all be revealed in due time, and until then, we rely on Him to heal our wounds. It's hard to comprehend how anyone who is not a believer gets through such a difficult time. As saddened, and yes, even angry, as I was at God for not protecting me from the multiple losses I suffered during pregnancy, I knew He was there holding me in His arms the whole way, as a parent would hold their child. I don't think I could have gotten through it without Him. My Rock, my Savior.

My prayers are with you always for your loss of precious Luke. What a beautiful boy.

Glenn said...

Greg,

Thank you for writing and sharing your precious Luke. I am new to your blog, but all too familiar with the pain that brought it about. My youngest son Nolan died from SIDS in June of 05. I think that a faith that survives this trial is among the strongest. And I think the same could be said of a marriage. I can’t imagine surviving this loss without my family, my faith, and our church.

3 ½ years down the road, life has gotten more routine, not requiring the extreme intentionality that was necessary in the first year. Even so, the pain still near and is easily summoned, or stumbled into.

I pray for God to send healing grace and peace to you, your family, and all others who travel this road.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

A smile for you today this little one singing with Todd &Nichole!Enjoy
Celie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_VknTKQQhw