November 14, 2012


Change is a part of life.  It just happens.  But sometimes it is hard, and it makes you re-think things that you had thought were just fine.

My Grandma just called.  My Great-Grandpa died today.

How does one process things like this?  The house suddenly feels stuffy and the air grows stale.  The only thing I think is to get outside.  Now.  It isn’t warm enough anymore to go out without a jacket but it feels right.  

A cold splash of reality.  

I breath deeply for a couple moments and a tear slides down my cheek.  The wind cradles our wind chime and a single note rings out. 

I lose it.

I don’t ask why.  I don’t think life is unfair to me.  He was 97 and I knew the last time I saw him that it would be the last.  You know it is coming and comes... and you just don’t understand how someone can be here one moment and then, the next they are gone forever.

I walk back inside.  
My temples ache; my lips tremble.  
My eyes are puffy and wet.  
My voice shakes.  

Emily is turning 8 in a month.  I have 10 years on her and I knew Grandpa Al.  She didn’t really. 
He was a hearty Italian.  He had his own way of talking and his particular phrases.  I long as I knew him he always looked the same and always wore that belt buckle.  Sure he was starting to “lose it” and was, shall we say, cantankerous at times, but he was family.  

And I loved him.

When, through tears, I tell Emily the news she looks up, and I can see her brain churning, matching a face with the name. 
Quietly she says “Uh oh”  and then later, “How?”  

“Old age Emmy.  It was just his time to go.”  I wanted so badly to say that God took him home, but I couldn’t, and I can’t, and that is why I mourn.  I don’t know. 

I don’t know if I will see my Great Grandpa Al again.

Yesterday I was angry.  So I picked up my Bible and started reading Job.  Talk about loss!  I  paused in my read at Job 1:20-22. (ESV emphasis added)

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.  And he said "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong."

 I asked "What is the proper reaction to loss?" but I already knew.

Worship.  Acknowledging that God is good.  I can't tell the mother that lost her 2 day old son that it was a good thing, I can't tell you that your friend dying in the twin towers on 9/11 was good, and I won't tell you that all the pain and suffering in this world is good because I would be miss understood.

This one thing I know though, that God is good, and does good, only good.

I trust him.


  1. That was beautiful Joanna. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I appreciate your expression of faith and trust in our God...reminds me of a quote that we have framed in my house.
    "It is not because things are good, but because He is good, that we are to praise Him."

  2. I am sorry for your loss, but you're right about worship. This was very moving... I recently went through some trouble understanding the death of someone who wasn't saved, and I really needed to read this. Thank you for posting this, even in this hard time.