Three things I keep in mind while grieving

We lost our dog to an accident days ago. Since then, I feel like a heavy cloud hangs over my head. Every time the scene plays back in my mind, that cloud bursts with rain, and water streams from my eyes. It’s not an easy life. It’s also short. Somehow, after we lost Mama late last year and our dog five months after, I feel like the world may really be cruel. It’s not a good keeper. Limited as it is, it cannot keep our loved ones’ lives forever.

Yet, God exists. In fact, on the midnight of the mishap, I called to Him for help. At the time, tears had usurped my now-swollen eyes. My bed lamp stayed on. Sleep wanted to seize my weary head, but I couldn’t close my eyes. I couldn’t watch it all again.

It didn’t take long before God came to my aid, and it wasn’t in the form of anything extraordinary. He came as a soft whisper in my heart, “Remember these…” And those three things are what I’m now trying to preserve here – for me not to forget them and for you, reader, who might need God’s soft whisper today.

  1. Everything leaves yet love remains.

    In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl, while in a Nazi camp, said, “I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”

    While it aches to recall my good memories with Mama and Bonbon (our dog), it’s bliss to realize that I became part of their novel time on earth. It’s a privilege to be one of those that God chose to keep their mark. Death also failed to steal my love for them when it took them away; instead, it left a stamp of unchangeable love in my heart. Now, Mama and Bonbon can no longer do anything to make me love them less. They may not be physically present, but they’ll forever be fully alive in my heart and head. Love stretches beyond death.
  2. Life doesn’t end on earth.

    I hope that there really is a heaven for dogs. If there is, my vision of Mama welcoming Bonbon to her arms might be true. But, I believe that there is heaven for humans. Like most of us, I believe that those who pass on don’t really fade; they just step into another world called afterlife. Nobody exactly knows what’s in there, but I hope that where my – and your – loved ones are is a good place. Without their body, they no longer physically suffer. There, they can do whatever their limited, wilting flesh prevented them to do while on earth. If their soul has feet, they can now run again. They will never starve nor get tired nor be physically deprived in any way again. And if they have a good soul, God has surely looked kindly on them.
  3. God deeply loves you.

    Among the three, I felt like God whispered these words the loudest, “You, who are left behind, should not stop living this life to the fullest.”

    Loss must not paralyze me. I should keep on making my life better, reaching for my dreams, and taking the risks of love – lest I’ll just waste God’s deep love for me. The sky is still magnificent, anyway. Words can still be beautifully crafted. I still have people to love, to receive love, and to live for. God still loves the world. His mind runs with great plans for it, and perhaps, I can do something to help Him fulfill them. Apparently my life is still happening now, and the most that I can do while grieving is to continue living with the truth of God’s love in my head and heart.

That midnight, I realized that there’s beauty in this wound – in every wound. And instead of lamenting over its depth, scab, scar, or its mere presence, I must look at its beauty. I must embrace it. I must preserve it and share it with you.

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