Spring is no longer flirting with us, and has fully unfurled her beauty.
Flowering trees are bursting with more blooms than their branches can handle, leaving the ground under them sugared with the excess of their glory.
Every inch of virgin grass looks almost artificial—dotted with taller, thicker clumps where machines have yet to raze them flat. The broadleaf still slumber, making every lawn look like its owner spent a fortune on it. Random stands of Daffodils flank hedges like imperial guards surrounding a stronghold. Birds serenade the morning, celebrating this great awakening.
Some life has returned. But not all.
For the fifth Spring, her body still sleeps beneath the soil, under a plush stand of new grass once again. I drive past the graveyard daily before dawn, and gaze out over the sea of cold granite markers. I remember her warm smile. Her cry. Her laugh. She sleeps among the hundreds like her who once smiled, cried and laughed.
I remember how taking care of her broken body was more than we could handle most days. How grace was our only solace, and wellspring of sanity. How most days, we would leave every ounce of ourselves on the kitchen floor before collapsing into bed—only to be awakened by her night cries for help.
During her eight years of life, we reached such high highs and low lows, living from surgery to surgery, with barely a banal moment. When life is that frenzied, you long for uneventful, dull normalcy—boredom.
Today, five Springs later, her body sleeps on, while her spirit is away. I’m not sure where Paradise is exactly, but I know she is there.
One day, we will sleep, too. Our spirits will cross the same river, and she will welcome us in to join the feast she has long been enjoying at the feet of Jesus.
Until then, we lean on that same Jesus, by whose might we are able to even stand up in the meantime. It’s a lifetime of picking up pieces, sorting through ashes, groaning inwardly as we await the redemption of our own bodies. This will go on, no matter how long we live.
Some life has returned. But only One was human.
So I look to the One whose life returned. Who went before me, and conquered death. Who understands my grief.
The One Who, each Spring, surrounds me with reminders that He isn’t done raising the dead.
How about you? How does the arrival of Spring, and new life, affect your grief over a lost loved one? Is it a painful reminder, or a hopeful one?