Grief is as much a part of life as death and taxes. It will rear its head to every person on the planet in some form. Grief is a necessary emotion as we move through different situations that life brings us. We mostly associate grief with death, but that is not the only time it comes to life.
Since the last part of May, Paul and I have been grieving. Nobody died. Nobody called and told us they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. We grieved because we knew what was coming in the months following our decision to return to Italy. It wasn’t getting rid of most of our things that made us grieve. Stuff can be replaced. No, that wasn’t it. What grieved us was knowing that we would say goodbye to people we loved…again. Except this time, there were more people on the list of goodbyes. I know that some of you reading this are sad at our leaving, but please keep in mind, that you have to say goodbye to four people while we have to say goodbye to everyone we know. That’s a cause for grieving.
There were times I would sit on the couch, thinking about the many conversations I have had with good friends on that couch, and cry. There were other times while I was cooking I would think about how few meals I had left to share with people I care for deeply. And I cried.
We grieved the things the kids would not have when we moved. We grieved over the kids saying bye to their friends. We grieved not being a part of Sundays at REVO. We grieved giving up our cat. We grieved the last holiday season we would spend with our families for a while.
We grieved so very deeply. In some ways, we still do.
But there is such a thing as “good” grief.
We have been given the opportunity to be part of the greatest calling one can be given. We get to share the love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God to people in a place that has no idea what those concepts truly mean. This is a good thing. At times, I am overwhelmed that I get to be a part of it. After all, the God of the universe doesn’t need me to accomplish His mission, but He has chosen and asked me to be a part of it. This renders me speechless and makes me ask, “How could NOT go?”
So while we walk through this process, one that is at times painful and sad, we look on towards the goal of what Christ has called us to do and excitement begins to course through our veins. And it makes the grieving good.