I saw her across the store. She was tired and weary; it was written all over her face. The cashier couldn’t go fast enough to get her out of the crowd. She just wanted to hide and never have to interact with the world again. She was shattered and there was nothing she could do to make time rewind or the pain go away. Losing a daughter, having to continue breathing when she just laid a piece of herself in the ground; how can this world keep spinning when nothing in hers will ever be the same?
Then today, I watched as people entered a restaurant. Some were lighthearted and enthusiastic, but so many others were distraught and heavy. Grandmothers with busy grandchildren, mothers weary with care; but at least those people had the motivation and courage to come inside and be around others. The people who really caught my attention were the ones who drove through and hid in their cars. They were often expressionless and tried hard to avoid eye contact. Sometimes I would catch an eye wipe as tears sneaked down their cheek. Hurting people, hiding in their pain, wishing desperately they could hit rewind or get a do-over.
Maybe even as you read this, you are one of those people. Maybe life just sucks right now. Maybe the loss you have experienced is overwhelming and too much to bear. Maybe your world will never, ever be the same again. Maybe everything looks foggy and you don’t have anything left in you to do something about it.
A precious friend of mine lost her daughter many years ago. After some time had passed, I asked her how she was able to keep on living and doing life without her daughter. She smiled weakly and said, “Life can be good again; it’s a just a different kind of good.”
So, to all of you precious, hurting folks: life can be good again. It won’t include the person you loved but it can include their memories. It may not include all of the future plans you had with them, but it can include new plans with people who are still here and love you. We will never be able to replace your loved one or explain why they were taken away. We will never be able to help you rationalize or play the what-ifs again and again; but we can walk beside you, love you and be there when everything gets hard and heavy. And it may take time, but one day, you will wake up and see a flower sprouting through the cracks and you will be reminded that yes, life can be good again.
Lean on Jesus with everything you have and let those who love you help carry your pain; we will love you whether you are strong or weak, and so will Jesus. Just don’t forget: Life CAN be good again, just a different kind of good.