On the Necessity of Marking Unsettling Anniversaries

How's your week been?

In this neck of the woods, friends and family are beginning their annual pilgrimages here, even as we've morphed overnight from early spring to early summer.  Grabbing a sweatshirt has quickly been replaced with grabbing a tall glass of ice water.

It's blazing hot.  At least for a couple of days.

Go figure.

A different kind of unfolding has also begun, the quiet kicking off of a very personal anniversary season.  This is the second year where we mark Mother's Day, my Dad's birthday, my parents' anniversary, the day we moved from New York to Massachusetts followed by the sudden death of my Dad the day after.

Woven into this time frame are Father's Day, grandkids' birthdays, kids' anniversaries, remembering the birthday of our littlest grandson, Tyler.  And then marking his early death just two years later.


It's important to notice how we're feeling as our remembered losses come to call, deep sorrows wrapped around joyful memories sweet.  Not to notice leads to shoving weird unexplained emotions deep down inside somewhere dark, even as odd behaviors and strange responses seemingly pop out from nowhere.

Which can only lead to all kinds of maladies and messy junk ... emotional, physical, spiritual, relational.

I'm all about remembering, sifting through a difficult season yet once again.  

Not in a maudlin way, but rather reflectively, quietly, considering all that has emerged in the weaving of our family's story.

And then laying that chapter to rest, for now, moving ahead from out of its shadow, acknowledging the impact, for better or worse, of all that God has allowed.  

And thanking Him that He specializes in redeeming our losses in ways far beyond our wildest dreams, in restoring those 'years the locusts have eaten' {Joel 2}.

I believe that this is what it looks like to continue to grieve well. 

I'm curious what you do to mark your own difficult seasons, when grief seems to bubble up from those subterranean places.

Mandisa's back and I'm celebrating with a giveaway of her brand new CD, Out of the Dark!  Come back to visit on Sunday night or sometime Monday to get in on the drawing ... and find out how she's impacted our family in a way we'll never forget.  You can subscribe here so you won't miss out!