Today is a special day, but not special for all the reasons you typically consider, as I’m sure the title of the post gives away. Today marks the 7 year anniversary of my cousin’s murder. It’s a really jacked up day actually. 7 years ago July 11th was a summer breeze and happy day. Today, and for the past 6 years July 11th, has been filled with Facebook posts in rememberance of my cousin, and his life.
This year, his anniversary hitting me a lot harder than it has before. This year I can’t keep a smile on my face, I just want to cry, and mourn. This year is diffrent. For the past 6 years my July’s have been filled. Filled with summer classes, and travel, and a general lack of awareness of my effect on the world and its effect on me. I was busy enough that I didn’t really have time to feel. This year however, has been filled with personal growth, and a heightened awareness of my needs and the needs of those around me. This year, I wasn’t able to simply “like” the Facebook posts in memory of my cousin, or distract myself from the pit in my gut to get past this day. So, this year I write. Write to sort and write to remember. Thanks for tracking with me friends.
I think that in life there are different levels of loss. There are levels that affect your day, levels that affect your essence, and levels transform your life. The life-transformers, those are the earth shattering losses. The losses that transport you back to place, time, sights, smells, and feelings when you remember them. The losses that you thought you’d never recover from. The losses that leave you afraid to breathe, and make you not want to wake up the next day. The losses that leave you feeling like your earth has shattered, and will never repair.
That loss for me, and my family was the loss of my cousin. I remember everything. The phone calls, the wailing, the waiting, the aching, the praying, the pounding in my heart and in my head, the worry for my family, the pain. My God, the pain. I’ll never forget it. And everytime I remember that day, I feel the overwheling pain and confusion all over again. It hurts, so bad but sometimes you just need to remember.
My cousin at this point, would have been 24. He would’ve been an excellent father, he would have been an excellent provider. At 17, he was the rock of our family in a lot of ways, and he was wise beyond his years. It was ridiculous. He was funny, and strong, and down for his family and the people he loved. He was such a protector. He would’ve been an incredible man today.
I guess I say all of this to say, that it never stops hurting. I mean, it still hurts as fresh as it hurt all those years ago but in my short time on earth I have found that the following things help with the pain.
Gratefulness for the time spent, and the memories shared.
Acknowldgement of the pure crappiness of the situation, and understanding that it is more than okay to hurt, to mourn. Jesus wept, and God mournns for us and over us too.
Living life in way that considers their legacy. Remembering them and who they were, thinking about who they would’ve wanted to watch you become.
Hope that you will one day see your loved one again. That one day you will be together in eternity. Hope that not all is lost, and though there is such pain there is even further beauty.
I don’t think that God designed humans to experience loss. When God created Adam and Eve he created them with eternity in mind, but sin crept in and left humans with broken, but God redeemed it when he sent his son to die for our sins. To pay the price so that we could experience eternity with God, far far away from pain, brokenness, and loss.
When you’re overwhelmed by earth shattering loss, rely on God’s promises. Sin sucks, and the lot it leaves sucks even more, but God has the victory and followers of Christ have victory in him. Hope friends.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Here’s to hope, here’s to peace, here’s to keeping our eyes on eternity.