Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grief – It Comes Out of Nowhere

Wave on sand It comes out of nowhere. You’re going along with your normal every day tasks, and you come across something common. Usually something extremely common. It could be an email address. It could be an old photo or an old note long forgotten. Or maybe, as it was for a friend recently, a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce!

Whatever the trigger – suddenly you’re hit by a wave. A wave of thoughts. A wave of memories. A wave of sadness. Sometimes the wave contains just a hint of comfort, sometimes it contains enough comfort to make you smile.

I was hit by one of these waves a few days ago. It was an every day task – I was searching for an email address of a family member I hadn’t contacted in a while. While I was searching I saw my Dad’s name. There in my address book. One name among many.

And suddenly, before I could stop it, there was a flood of memories. Memories of Dad, well into his 60s struggling to learn to use a computer. And in his 70s learning to use email. The memory of the day he called my husband to ask the ultimate “newbie” question: “Is the enter key the same as the return key?”

And then it turned to comfort, even pride. Dad never stopped learning. Well, into his 60s and 70s he was still learning to do new things. He did learn to use email. He did learn to use his computer – at least well enough to send a Christmas letter each year. A number certainly wasn’t going to stop him. Even as I type this. I am flooded with memories of Dad reading incessantly. Reading to learn more. He never felt he’d mastered anything.

Always he was reading.

Always he was learning.

There is pain and there is comfort in those memories. Pain that he’s not here to talk to anymore. Pain that I can’t ask his perspective on issues I’m currently facing.

But, there is comfort too. Because in some ways I know what his answer would be. I’m pretty sure he’d have his own perspective and opinion. But, he would say “Read about it. Read what the Bible says. Read what biblical scholars say.” And of course, he’d also probably recommend a book or two.

And there is comfort in knowing that answer.

It comes out of nowhere – the pain and the comfort.

Photo Source: Vama Veche @ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/781937

2 comments:

Amy Rainey said...

It is amazing what small things trigger memories. For me, it is often a smell...like cloves. My great-grandfather chewed them as a breath freshener. Sometimes it is a taste...like my grandmother's chocolate ball recipe. I think these memories are a precious gift that God gives us. I know I cherish them.

April said...

Bittersweet memories... I have them often of my mother. Great post!

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