Loss. Truly not my choice as 'word of the year' for 2009, but it is how the year began and how it ended. On December 22, my mom passed away after a 2.5 year battle with stage IV breast cancer. She is not suffering anymore and for that I am glad. I am, of course, still feeling my way through the effects of this loss on my life. And I am positive that I will still be working my way through it years from now.
We found out over the weekend that Jeff, a colleague from Baker Academic passed away as the result of a car accident last week. So eerily similar in time frame (January) and accident (head injury) to my friend Ann's accident 12 months ago. And with the same results. Death.
There are many times when I get angry over all these events and other losses I have had over the years. And even losses that my friends have had. Many, many over the past few years--it seems unnatural.
And yes, we feel release when someone is relieved of their suffering, as in these three particular cases. No one wants to live a life hooked up to machines and not able to communicate, to love, to laugh. But still, a young dad? Why did that eighteen year old kid have to cross the center of that icy road on that particular day at that particular time? Why a grandma that barely got to see her last grandchild grow to be a year old? Why did a doctor keep quiet for five years and not schedule a mammogram for this woman when she was of the age to get one every year? How can someone hide what they know is killing them because they are afraid of a diagnosis? Why did an icy road and fender bender cause the chain reaction that led to a truck hitting a mom as she stood outside of her car? Her kids are both autistic, and IS THAT FAIR?
I don't have any answers.
I cannot answer these questions this side of heaven.
I cannot answer them on a good day. Or with any verses from the Bible. Or any special word from God. Or with any miraculous sign written on a wall.
And it makes me mad.
Really mad. And overwhelmingly sad.
But I can do one thing.
I can find hope in the power of Christ's resurrection.
I can find peace in knowing that my friend Ann is in heaven.
My mom is in heaven.
My father-in-law is in heaven.
Jeff is in heaven.
They are whole and healed. Every single one of them.
And for today, it will have to be enough. Because it's all I've got.