“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 NASB
How do you go on with your life after losing someone you love? In the end, the answer is simple enough, I suppose—“to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” But how do we face these simple tasks when our pain is so great?
For me, the first step is survival, figuring out how to get through each day, how to navigate through the fog to get dishes and clothes clean, rooms swept and tidied, food on the table, and still have the energy to cuddle my children at night. I want so much more from life than that, but I must learn to crawl before I can walk.
Sometimes we have days when it’s all we can do to get up in the morning and face another day without the one we love. It happens. Sometimes we are dragged most unwillingly out of bed by a crying child, a job we need to pay for food and shelter, or any number of obligations. All we want to do is wrap ourselves in a cocoon of self-pity, but we can’t. So we add resentment to the seemingly endless list of negative emotions blowing like storms through our souls. That happens, too.
I wrote myself a note soon after my father died, a note I found in my bedside table not long ago. I’d written myself a list of reasons to get out of bed. At the top of my list was, “Dad would want me to.” It’s important to remember that the one you grieve for would want you to get up in the morning and go on with your life.
If you’re feeling too down for that idea to have any appeal, remember this. If you lay in bed drowning in sorrow long enough, you’ll eventually have to get up to go to the bathroom. While you’re in there, you might as well have a good cry in the shower. You can cleanse your body as well as your emotions and use the momentum to get dressed.
This is how we get through each moment of each day. We may feel that the tragedy that has befallen us is just wrong, wrong, wrong. This wasn’t meant to happen. This isn’t the way life was supposed to work out. We may feel as though we are living in some evil parallel universe, and if only we could break the spell we could have our old lives back.
Perhaps this wasn’t meant to happen to us, but we are meant to live our lives with purpose and with joy, despite the sorrows. God does have plans for us, if only we open ourselves to them.