I want to cry; in fact, I become so close to crying that I can taste the saltiness of my tears, but the relief tears can bring escapes me. I try to keep the tears bottled up as a treasure, so I will have plenty to relieve me when they are most needed. When they will really matter. When they will celebrate his life and honor his death.
Those who are in the act of caregiving understand this phenomenon of grief. It feels like piecemeal grieving. Here a little. There a little. And it becomes apparent the first time a "nevermore" is introduced in our lives. These eventually may include:
- nevermore will he drive the family car
- nevermore will he work to provide for our household
- nevermore will he climb up and fix the roof or mow the lawn
- nevermore will he walk unassisted, or walk at all
- nevermore will he sleep in your bed, or even in the same room or house
- nevermore will he eat your cooking, or taste his favorite casserole
- nevermore will he walk through the door of your home, and be greeted by his happy canine friend
- nevermore will he sit by you in church, and hold your hand during prayer
- nevermore will he tell stories or jokes to his grandchildren and friends
- nevermore will he say "I love you" and "forgive me" at the end of each day
- nevermore will he send his heartfelt feelings and petitions to God in prayer
- Forevermore he will sing God's praises (with the voice he always wished he had)
- Forevermore he will pray and worship with God's people (on a beautiful mountain far surpassing the ones he loved on this earth)
- Forevermore he will never be parted from or have to say good-bye to his friends (making it the best "camp meeting" he ever attended!)
When I find myself avoiding the past, consumed with the present, and dreading the future, all at the same time, there is this welcome time realm of the "forevermores" that beckons me into its loving arms and buoys me up with faith and hope.
Yes, I can bear the "nevermore's" because there is a "forevermore" that outshines them all.