"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nearing Easter

This last week has been tough - more so than usual.  I don't think I was prepared for it being quite so hard. I have found myself sitting more at the piano - lost in music, or staring mindlessly out the window or cleaning the house with ferocious intensity. (I don't think my house has ever been this clean....) Dave and I are missing Rachel so much.  And as I wrote that, I looked up at the calender and remembered that yes, today it is 8 months since that afternoon when she died in our arms.  How can it really be that long? I feel like there is this big hurt in me and it just isn't going to go away until I am with her again. Just when I think things are getting easier, the wave of sadness has hit hard again.

About a month ago, I jumped up from our bed in the middle of the night because I thought I heard Rachel's pained cry, the one before a heart spell. That was quite the shock because I really thought I was done with that.  But since then, there have been more times when I think I hear her, and I need to hold myself back from searching through the house. I have had more dreams lately about Rachel dying in various ways too. They rattle me. The good thing though is that these dreams are turning me towards God who is powerful to save, and to the Psalms that express my heartache.  

I think what is on our minds most these days, as we approach Easter, is that our daughter's body is in the ground. Buried under a mound of dirt. In a box. My heart still doesn't know what to do with that. We dressed her body for the last time in her Easter dress - meaningful to us because of the promise of resurrection.  But right now resurrection seems so far away from the reality of her body there in the ground.

A few Sundays ago in church, I saw a little girl wearing the same pink sweater that we slipped over Rachel's Easter dress before the viewing. I never saw Rachel wear it in life, and yet suddenly there was this little girl about Rachel's age (had she still been alive).....and oh, I longed for my little girl then! I hear of other moms who dream about their child that has died and I wish that just once I could have a good dream about Rachel too....    

The kids are SO addicted to listening to the Narnia stories now. It's so neat to hear them talk excitedly about parts of the story that they like the most. This morning they listened to the entire book "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (!). Afterwards they had to make rafts with popsicle sticks and called one "Treader". They walk around using proper sounding British expressions like "oh bother!" So neat. Anyway, there's this part at the end when Aslan tells them that he is going to open up the sky and send them home. In this instance, He was meaning 'home' to their lives in England.  But I heard the word 'home' and it sparked this huge yearning in me for our true home. I just stood there looking out the kitchen window at the sky for a long time....

Last night, I read the story of Lazarus to the kids.  I told them that Jesus didn't make it back on time to heal Lazarus (that he took his time getting there), that Lazarus had died, and the words of his sister saying "If only you had been there..." And as I read, I thought about how my kids know what death looks like. They both held their little sister's still body. I could see their faces drop last night, when I told them that Lazarus died. I thought they already knew the story but it seemed like it was new again for them.

But then - oh, I wish you could have seen Ethan's face when I told him that Lazarus walked right out of that tomb......he gave out this whoop and started bouncing up and down on his chair with this huge grin!! And I had to struggle to keep reading for the tears.....for the deep longing in my heart and for the immense gratitude to God that He has broken the power of death.

With Rachel's body in the grave - and with news on my mind of so many more various losses and griefs,  Easter Sunday and the hope of resurrection feels about as far away as ever....BUT, I am glad that the death I have seen and touched does not tell the whole story. One day we will really know and see with our own eyes that everything He has said is true...

I saw this verse today....
"Death has been swallowed up in Victory." 1 Cor 15:54
And I felt like giving a little whoop of my own when I read it;)


Kathy and Carl said...

I continue to pray for you Kendra. I can't imagine the feelings in your heart right now. Easter is an emotional time as we ponder death and resurrection and new life.

May you feel God's amazing love surround you this weekend.

Angela said...

What a beautiful, honest post Kendra. I love reading your words. I feel the same sadness and longing but hang on to the hope that is ours in Christ.

I remember the first Easter after Hazel died. It was so bittersweet. I imagined her singing to Jesus with so many children I know are in heaven....and now Rachel is with her too :)

Praying for peace for your heart and comfort in those moments of overwhelming sadness.

Anonymous said...

aww.. it has to be hard missing her so much! It has only been 8 months - praying the Lord will slowly take the hurt and heartache to a lower lever - thankful she brought you so much joy! She is with our Lord and Savior - the best place to be! Wishing you and your family a BLesses Easter!