Our minds were reeling with the news of Justin’s accident. The sheriff’s office patiently walked us through our next steps as we tried to process this horrific loss. They asked us if we had any clergy that could come and be with us. I called a friend and incoherently told her that we needed to get ahold of one of our pastors.
Not too long after, two precious pastors came to be with us in our darkest hour early that Sunday morning. They hugged us, sat with us, said little, and listened a lot. I remember them praying over us as they expressed their own anguish for the pain that we were facing. Upon their parting, they gave us two excellent words of wisdom that I remember to this day:
- Take care of yourself and your family, this is a season to huddle
- Grief is isolating
In grief, there are many adjustments and much to process. I wake up daily to the reality that our Justin has departed from this world. Like an optometrist painstakingly working to adjust his patient’s prescription to 20/20 vision, I find myself working to adjust my mind to the fact that this is our new normal. Everything looks different because everything is different. There’s an unfamiliar dynamic at work in our family. Our firstborn, the trailblazer of the Linkletter five, is gone. My children lost their big brother and their best friend. Our once loud and laughter filled home has taken on a more subdued liveliness. Somewhere along the way, it has become a normality for one of us to randomly begin to cry and for the rest of us to huddle around the one.
In the early days, the more people who could be around us, the better. As the days have turned into weeks, and the weeks have become months, it has become more difficult to interact with others as we normally once did. The loss of Justin is a searing pain and leaves little room for pleasantries and small talk. I have found that the isolation is not from a lack of people caring, the isolation happens inwardly.
During these heavy-hearted periods, it is often too laborious to try to express what I am feeling. In these times, I have repeatedly asked the Lord to “hide me”. I allow myself to weep and I know without a doubt that He understands the depth of my pain for He is the one who made me a Mother and gave me such love for my children. When I whisper, “Hide me, Lord”, I imagine Him holding me tight much like a Daddy holds his distraught little girl. I am reminded of Fanny Crosby’s hymn, “He Hideth My Soul”:
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.
While walking through this grief, I struggle to complete daily tasks. The laundry gets done on an “as needed” basis and dinner is often thrown together at the last-minute. Our homeschool days are less than ideal. Honestly, I can become easily discouraged about such things. I have a dear friend who often reminds me that there’s grace upon grace for me and every single follower of Christ Jesus. She is so right! These things will come in due time. For now, He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand.
Forever held in His grace,