How to Frame Pain When You’ve Lost Someone You Love |
christian speaker, writer, christian blog, south dakota blog, speaker, sojourner, Cindy Krall
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I love me some bass guitar.

Earlier this summer, I stumbled on a tune with a bass that beats in your chest and lyrics that promise to run in your brain like a manic, wheel-bound gerbil.

I got no roots, but my home was never on the ground.

I got no roots, but my home was never on the ground.

I got no r-oh-oh-oh-ts. I got NO roots!

I’d been jamming to Alice Merton’s song as I worked outside. I never knew it would become my mantra when life sucker punched me.

Less than forty-eight hours after our daughter’s wedding, Murphy, our fourteen-year-old Shih-Tzu had a stroke and we had to put him down.

If you’re not a dog (or pet) person that’s OK. You have permission to say “Meh” and find something more interesting to read in your feed. But if you ARE a pet person, if, like our tribe, your pet becomes a family member, then you know the grief that comes when you lose them.

We were crushed.

Fortunately, Alice Merton saved the day. Her words kept reminding me that as cliché’ as it sounds, “we’re not home yet.” The thought gave me comfort every time my heart pinched at a reminder of Murphy’s absence.

I’d walk in the back door and see that he wasn’t in his bed.

No roots— but my home was never on the ground.

I’d look down at the floor during supper expecting to see his beggars gaze.

No roots— but my home was never on the ground.

Quiet time in the morning was the worst… an empty spot took the place of where He was supposed to curl up next to me.

You got it. No roots.

It’s been just over a month, and I’m still sad. Sometimes I see the grief coming. It’s like the anticipated lick of water at my feet when I’m standing on the shore. Other times the sorrow is more profound and it feels like a two-foot wave (I never saw coming) that is knocking me to the ground.

I know that there are hurts that run much deeper than the death of a pet. If that is you, please know that I am praying for you as I write this. I hope that my less weighty loss and what its teaching me may help, even if in a small way, with your own grief.

The reality is this… clichés don’t cut it, and a rhythmic bass can’t beat away sorrow. But the message inherent in them is a lifeline to these truths:

“But we are citizens of heaven, exiles on earth waiting eagerly for a Liberator, our Jesus the anointed…” Philippians 3:20 The Voice

As strange as it sounds, there are times that I take comfort in being an exile. It’s as if the universe acknowledges my pain and recognizes that it isn’t supposed to be this way.

“And even though they are in captivity, I will watch over them, I will look out for their good. And one day I will bring them home.” Jeremiah 24:6 The Voice

Aaaaah. The twofold comfort in this promise can carry a girl. During our exile, God watches over us and cares about our good. Also, He gives us the hope of “one day we will be home.”

“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” Revelation 21:3-5 The Message

Hope has crystallized in these promises… “death is gone for good,” “tears are gone,” “crying is gone,” “pain is gone.”

This post will publish the day following the 6th anniversary of my Mother’s death. She was 69 years old… far too young. I miss her. I miss my dang dog. I force back tears as grief trips me at the most unexpected times, but Merton’s beat reminds me to grab hold of my “hope rope.”

I’M NOT HOME YET.

I’ll see others I’ve lost when I get there, and maybe, just maybe I’ll see Murphy too.

In the meantime, you and I can find solace in the promises of scripture as well as comfort in the knowledge that God has not left us here alone to fend for ourselves.

He offers to make His home in us.

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God…” Hebrews 6:18-19 The Message

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17 NLT

Savoring the journey (even when it’s hard),

Cindy


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6 Comments
  • I’m so very sorry for your loss of Murphy! Pets are entwined in so many happy family memories aren’t they? Thinking of you as you remember your mom and Murphy. No roots!!! Sing it loud!

    August 18, 2019
  • Dyana Bounds

    Beautiful words and reminder, No roots! Love you Cindy! So sorry to hear about sweet Murphy, they sure take a part of us with them when they leave.
    Hugs sweet friend! ❤️

    August 19, 2019
  • Oh, how this resonates!My youngest son plays the bass, and then this past weekend was my 44th wedding anniversary (my dear hubby went home to meet Jesus in 2016) and my sister-in-law entered heaven after a couple of years of pressing on despite the pain of kidney failure and heart issues. I’ve been in Jeremiah and Ezekiel in my through-the-Bible plan and have felt like an exile many times lately. So grateful for my heavenly home! And for friends (you included) to share the journey back home with. Keep writing! Betty

    August 20, 2019

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