Creation, continued.

February 20th will mark seven years since Eric died.  I write that sentence and then sit with my hands in my lap, not sure what else to say.  And yet there’s so much inside—mixed emotions, a roller coaster of feelings, memories, a reservoir of tears yet uncried, and something wants to make its way to the surface today.  I’m hoping my writing will reveal what it is.

After seven years there are some days I miss Eric more deeply than ever.  I’m remarried, my life is full and joyous, and I still miss him.  No matter how wonderful my current situation is, there’s still a hole in my heart.  There continue to be memories of Eric that make me sigh wistfully.  Out of the blue, I’ll think, ‘Eric would have said —,’ or I’ll chuckle to myself as I think about how he would have enjoyed a new movie or song.

Eric is on my mind a lot these days.  This past weekend I was saddened by facebook postings as four loved ones of various friends lost their battles for life.  Every one of them was young, in the midst of full and promising lives, leaving behind spouses, children, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends.

Even though I didn’t know any of these individuals personally, my heart is pained.  I feel the pain of loss so acutely.  It stirs up memories of my own experience, stirs up thoughts of conversations with Eric’s mother—parents are not supposed to outlive their children, stirs up thoughts of crying alone, thoughts of loss.

I feel overwhelmed and somewhat helpless when I attempt to write about this.  Everyone’s experience with loss is different and yet there are emotions that overlap the differences.  Sometimes when I’m sad I reach out to a friend who lost his wife.  He understands when I describe a pervading sadness even in times of great joy and celebration.

When Eric died I had people say all kinds of helpful and unhelpful things to me.  The most popular included variations of, “There’s a reason for everything.  Someday we’ll understand why.”  This fell into the category of ‘unhelpful’ for me.  The insinuation that God let Eric die for a reason was a repulsive thought to me.  Some things happen in the world simply because it’s a sinful, broken planet.  God created us to live forever. God created a world that was perfect.  Adam and Eve unknowingly chose the alternate plan and now we live with the consequences.  And sometimes it just plain sucks.

So when I read texts like Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” I hear God saying He’ll work to create good even in the worst of circumstances.  And when good comes out of a loss—out of something painful and grievous—I don’t believe God planned the bad so the good could happen.  He’s all-powerful Creator God and speaks good things into existence.  God is still creating, speaking words into our lives and experiences that turn into healing and restoration and blessing.

So, my prayers right now for those who have lost loved ones, is that God would show up as Creator.  That He would reach His hand into the pain and loss and grief and create something good.  Because through the good God creates out of loss, our loved ones live on in our lives, our memories, and the way we approach life.

I’m still influenced every day by Eric.  My life is more beautiful and deep because of the time he was here on this earth.  And I thank God that He’s still creating.

Posted on by Lisa M Hope Tilstra in Articles
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About Lisa M Hope Tilstra

I just got married and I live on a boat! :)

2 Responses to Creation, continued.

  1. Debbie

    I’m moved to tears. Thank you for putting in words that which often escape those who want to say something helpful. God bless you and your wonderful memories while making new ones!

  2. Hannah

    I know what it’s like to lose people… but in a different way. God didn’t just let it happen… they chose to leave. They decided that I wasn’t good enough anymore. It still hurts every day, and sometimes I blame myself… but life has to go on, with or without us. Through constant struggles, God will always show us he’s here with us. He feels it just as much as we do. He is heartbroken and crying with us… I mean after all… How does it feel to watch your children cry?

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