I do not grieve

2004The older I get, the more people I know who finish their race and move from this world to the next.

Most of these friends and family are believers, and often, during their transition, or just after, I find myself in an odd emotional state. I see others around me grieving, and yet the only thing I seem to feel is a melancholy sadness, like that feeling you get after dropping a good friend off at the airport, knowing you won’t see them again for some time.

A “post holiday letdown”, if you will.

This is how I felt when my dad went home, and again, last night, after we celebrated the life of one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

I did cry during the memorial, but not at the thought of Ed going home. I cried when I looked at his kids sitting in the front row, two of them born into a birth-right of great parents, two whom God blessed to be adopted into it.  Amazingly good kids, all.

I cried as I thought of how the God who created everything, looked down at all of the people in the world that He could give these four babies too, and He chose my friends…because He KNEW.

I cried the way I cry during the final scene of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (sorry, I’m a movie buff) as I sat there looking at these four amazing young lives that are the legacy of everything that was good, and best, and wonderful about my friend. These bright, shining arrows who are just being launched into a dark world to bring light…the warmth of my old friend’s fingers still on the bowstring.

As they spoke about their father’s love, his nurturing, and the gift of the unquestionable importance he placed on his family, I found myself nodding and smiling, tears on my cheeks as such a wave of respect and pride and joy welled up at how good, how amazingly well, my dear friend had run and completed his race. To see the living, breathing evidence standing tall (some extremely tall) before me. How grateful I was that God had blessed me with the opportunity to watch it, and be touched by it.

How can I grieve?

I felt like one of those crazed parents at an awards ceremony, and I wanted to leap to my feet and shout, “THAT’S MY FRIEND THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT! MY FRIEND DID THAT!” (Don’t worry, I didn’t, but I wanted to!)

I will miss my friend so much, and I will think of him often. Likely with the first whiffs of smoke from the campfire, at the crunch of autumn leaves beneath my hunting boots, the smell of meat cooking over glowing coals, and with the unrestrained laughter of a group of life-long friends…these will remind me of him, and I’ll wish he was there with us again.

But I won’t say goodbye Ed, and I won’t grieve for you. I will think of you, and smile through my tears, and be so very proud of how well you ran your race.

Have a good flight, Brother, I’ll see you there.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “I do not grieve

  1. Well said Perry.
    It makes me proud to have known Ed and see the incredible people his children have become.

  2. Perry, these are all forms of grieving that you just shared: melancholy, sadness, letdown, crying, missing, thinking about, remembering, wishing he was here. There are many forms of grieving, and we get into trouble when expecting others to grieve in identical form to us over the same loss.

  3. Very well said my friend. You made me cry all over again. But while there is sadness, there is also amazing joy as well. Ed’s memorial/celebration was a phenomenal event and will remain with me always as one of the most glorious examples of God’s grace I’ve ever been privileged to see. You are so right – a race well run.

  4. Sarah Bjorklund

    thank you perry, this post is a blessing I’ve reread it many times over

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