If you know me, it probably doesn't surprise you that I've cried every day since last Saturday.
As I'm learning, tears are a good part of grief for me.
While I wouldn't choose this particular time to learn how to grieve, it's still a precious thing to be "chosen" for. And I do believe the Lord has chosen it for this time, for our family.
It doesn't mean I think He caused Lily's death - though He knew it would happen (one of those mysterious ways of God's sovereignty that I don't understand, yet trust and believe in).
But since it did happen, I haven't wanted to miss out on what His good will is for us, nor miss the expansion of my heart and soul that I've heard can come out of walking through grief. So we've been letting grief wash over us this past week.
What has it looked like? Well for sure, no two people grieve the same. And everyone has a different timetable and way to express grief. And that's okay. I read a great website with very helpful things to say about grieving and among other things they said there is no "normal" timetable or way for grief.
Another thing they said that resonated with me is that any loss can cause grief. One of the things about losing a beloved pet is that you feel like you shouldn't grieve too much...after all, it was "just a dog" and not a human life. But they said, "Grief is a natural response to loss. It's the emotional suffering you feel when someone or something you love is taken away." That was helpful. We did love Lily and now she's gone, so we grieve.
The practical ways we've grieved? Through letting tears come whenever they please. Through writing. Through projects. Through the telling of stories and memories. Through gathering photos. Through talking with others about her. Through simply sitting in quiet and letting the Lord speak and comfort.
This morning we expressed our grief by finishing Lily's special place of burial in our yard.
Throughout this week, Caleb has built a sweet, beautiful fence to mark her spot under the birch trees. He spent hours measuring, sawing, sanding, painting and putting it together. It was part of his grieving process.
Though there were a few tears this morning, it was also a time of joy to do one more thing for her - to honor her and what she meant to our family. It also helped put a "book-end" on this past week.
Not that we will stop grieving...I don't know when that will happen. But for sure, the pain is less today than it was yesterday. And I know the Lord will bring comfort and grace when it's needed in the coming days if/when we continue to grieve.
We do miss our Lily.