I dreamt about Rachel and Kevin all night last night. It was a whirlwind nightmare, the kind where you wake up gasping for air. It was the kind of dream where you normally wake up relieved that it was only a dream. The person doesn’t really have cancer. They didn’t really die. My friend isn’t really alone. It was only a nightmare.
Except it wasn’t.
I’ve only had that kind of night terror twice in my life—the kind where you wake up and the terror is true. Once was about six months ago—I’m not ready to write about that one yet, but one day I probably will. The other was last night, in what felt like a life-or-death saga that went on all night and was supposed to be resolved when I woke; but instead, when reality hit, the worst thing possible had already happened, and Kevin’s funeral and burial were over.
True, it wasn’t a nightmare about my own life. Rachel, who used the W-word so beautifully in her last post, has to wake up to that nightmare every single day for the rest of her life: widowhood. Maybe that’s what scares me so much. She is living it. It could have just as easily been me. Would I handle it as well as she? Or would I implode? Hide? Give up?
Today I’ve been walking around in a daze.
Rachel whispered the sweetest thing as I hugged her goodbye last night after Kevin’s funeral service. She said many beautiful things, but among them she said, “I don’t know if he can see me or not.”
And those words have made me burst into tears a few times today.
I guess that’s what grief is. Grief is new to me, so I apologize to those of you who know this all too well. It is new to me to burst into tears in the middle of doing dishes or while I’m making my bed.
Please pray with me that Rachel will have the strength from Jesus to be able to use her experiences to understand how to care for widows and orphans—a calling she believes she has received from the Lord.
There’s something about funerals. Funerals make one thing clear: life is short.
Kevin Hill lived to be 37 years old.
November 15, 1976 – December 24, 2013
I planned to write a different post about the New Year, and I probably still will. But the day after a funeral you just don’t see life the same way you normally do.
The day after a funeral is a new time: time to live like you’ve always wanted to live, achieve the goals God has put on your heart, and love, love, love, even when it hurts.