Like a slow meandering stream

by Greg Lincoln

When we are befallen with an overwhelming loss, such as the loss of a close family member, we are allowed to take time off work to grieve, to prepare to lay our loved one to rest, and to do a million things that are excruciatingly painful and traumatic in nature. When the loss is unexpected and especially if they are young, the grief is exponentially multiplied in all aspects – in breadth such as in time, and in intensity such as in how deep.

For parents experiencing this type of loss, nothing is worse in all the calamities known to man than this.

How long can we take time off work to mend our broken lives? It depends. For some it is very short. That means you must return back to work because there are people waiting for you, there are things that need to be taken care of, schedules to follow, and so you must go back to work.

Going back to work can be like a path to recovery in a way. For some it may provide a distraction, a way to keep busy even if only for a little while. It is like a victory, a step away from the other end of the spectrum, which includes shutting down, closing off, doing nothing.

But even then while at your workplace, you may find yourself faced with an oncoming wave of grief like a tsunami, because you bring your grief with you wherever you go. Grief comes in intervals – rogue waves, quakes, lighting bolts – things that you cannot sometimes see coming.

In these moments you may need to find a quiet private place of retreat where you can stand and let the waves come. Soon they too will pass. Where are these retreats? A closet, the restroom, or if you can hold it – the comfort and solace of your home where familiar spaces enclose you in their warm and loving embrace.

Going to the places that we’ve always gone to and doing the things that we’ve always done is one of the decisions that we have kept as best as we could. It took a while though, like weeks and weeks and months and months it seems. Thank you for all your help during that difficult time! We will never forget your kindess.

And last week, we were able to go to Fairbanks for WEIO week. We visited our loved ones, shared stories, ate food together, laughed about this and that, kissed the little ones, went to the events and even got a couple awards. We also made a few new friends.

It was a good trip and we are blessed! We appreciate the nice slow pace that Fairbanks has even though it is a city, it is like a slow meandering river. People even drive nice and slow. We were even able to sleep and dream while we were there. Usually it is hard because of the strange and unfamiliar surroundings and all that glorious endless daylight.

We miss our friends and relatives and look forward to seeing them again. And you know, coming home also felt good. It was so good to step off that plane and to feel our own beloved land under our feet. Thank you Lord and thank you for your continued prayers.