Friday, September 3, 2010


I have become different. I cannot detour around that truth. Grief and pain have changed me and my perspectives on life. A few weeks ago, my cousin was killed in Afghanistan. He and nine others were part of a mobile eye clinic in a remote part of the country. They were ambushed, robbed and killed. A week and a half later we attended his memorial service. During that time I found myself unable to properly grieve and mourn his death. In fact, I was thoroughly confused. Sunday at his memorial service I was finally able to cry. Then the tears came in torrents and I was out of control. Days later I decided I still haven't really mourned his death. My longing to enter heaven has stolen and replaced what would have been my feelings of grief for the loss of his life. Yes, that envy has stolen my ability to grieve. Why would I grieve my own loss when he is experiencing heaven? I want to go there...not that I want to leave my loved ones, but my desire for heaven is burning. The small taste God gave me the night Kira died will stay with me forever. The peace heaven gives and the feeling of everything being perfect: no more worries, cares, strife, war, arguments, or different opinions about life. My perspective on death has changed. I always grieved for my loss of connection with that person. I still do to some extent. Now-my grief is more associated with the living and the pain they will endure until heaven can be real for them. My tears at the memorial service were for my aunt, uncle and their family. I still have some balancing to do; I am still partially confused.

God also showed me in a funny way that other people's perspectives are different than mine. It broadened my horizon and allowed me to be more okay with however they would like to perceive me. Last week we were walking out of a restaurant. Marlea and Anna were ahead of me. I must have looked tired. A kind looking middle-aged couple was outside eating ice cream. The man was watching the girls. He looked at me and said "I bet they are a handful". The words were already coming out of my mouth to inform him that no they really are not but when there were three of them I was busy. I bit my tongue, smiled and replied "Yes they are." For the first time since Kira's death, I felt myself allow a person's perspective on our family to remain as it appears. In turn I felt God showing me that my perspective on death has changed and that is okay. But that is for me to feel and not everyone else. Each person grieves differently and for different reasons. My respect of those different reasons along with my respect for the Christian body of believers is growing.

Anna is learning to ride a bike with training wheels. She can barely reach the petals now. Her eyes glisten with pride as I try to help her. They remind me so much of the same pride I saw in her sister as she learned to ride the bike. In Kira's eyes she became Marlea's equal because she could ride bike also. For Anna, she is simply being proud of turning the petals. I miss that fierce competition between Marlea and Kira. It made for crazy times....

Praise God for the ability to feel, choose, and express our emotions. Also for good health!

Marylu and Merlin, Marlea, Anna