Set against a backdrop of green pastures and turquoise skies, the flowers unfurl their blooms to paint a rainbow of red, yellow,orange, purple, and white on the hill behind my house. A warm breeze blows across my face tantalizing me with the scent of fresh blooming hyacinths, and overhead
a flock of birds soar toward the heavens before circling to freefall in a lazy, carefree arc. Like the incoming tide, spring has flooded the land to rekindle the earth and its people.
Spring is like the rain after a drought. It energizes and renews the earth, and in the process lifts our spirits. During springtime I am reminded of the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me. I like to think that the Lord sends us spring to prepare us for the hot days of summer and the forthcoming chill of winter.
After loosing my daughter in the fall of 2008, I guess it’s safe to say I now compare spring to that period that directly follows grief. When I began my unwanted journey of grief, I was nothing more than the shell of a woman who was no longer able to think or function as she normally did. And once Danielle’s funeral was over, I found myself fighting the inevitable acceptance of her death as my heart leaned toward the fantasy that she was still alive. I guess you could say I was acting like an ostrich as I buried my head in the proverbial sand and willed my pain away.
Deep inside I knew Danielle was dead, and that she would never walk this earth again. And while part of me desired to start the grieving process so I could retain my sanity, the other stubborn side of me clung to the hope that it was all just a bad dream. As the days turned into weeks, I fought
the pain engulfing my body. The thought of traveling down that road, which would lead me thorough my grief, terrified me. In part because I knew in order to complete that journey I must first accept Danielle’s death, and in part because I feared the unknown.
Months passed before I was ready to face reality. By then my spirit had weakened and my faith lay in shambles. Unable to stand tall as I once had, I dropped to my knees and embarked on my journey. As I tried to crawl out from under the cloud of depression I found my path blocked by one roadblock after another. Feeling like a blind man lost on an obstacle course, I put up a brave fight, but soon began to grow weary and tired. My mind was still a jumbled mess as it continued to fight the prospect of life without Danielle.
Late one night, I voiced my feelings to the Lord. Sobbing like a child, I told him how heartbroken I was that my daughter was gone. I lashed out in anger as I told him how much I hated his decision to take her away from me. And then I begged him to guide me on my journey so I could find the strength to overcome her loss.
As I lay there in the dark, a peace came over me as the Lords presence filled the surrounding space. I could feel his love wrap around me like a sweet embrace, and when I closed my eyes I could envision him pulling me close to his heart.
It has been almost five years since Danielle left me, but her memory is with me every day. I love her as much today as I did back in November
of 2008 when I lost her. No one will ever take her place in my heart, and my memories of her are mine to treasure forever. The remembrance of her smile still brings me joy, the recollection of her laugh still offers me hope, and the legacy of her ability to love others encourages me like nothing else can.
I once read somewhere that the Native Americans thought of the stars in the sky as the windows of heaven. It was their belief that when someone died they could stand before these portals and look down on the loved ones they had left behind. Since Danielle’s death I have grown fond of this analogy. Sometimes late at night, I will creep outside and stare heavenward and it is almost as if I can feel Danielle’s presence standing at heavens windows as she watches over me from above.
Submitted by Sharon Earls
Follow us On :