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Monday, October 15, 2012

Always Look on the Bright Side

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Shawna is a photographer, graphic designer, and Jill of all trades. She is happily married and enjoys spending time curling up on the couch with a good book and a steaming cup of cocoa. She also enjoys cleaning dead bugs from windowsills. You can find more of her at Ramblings of an Otherwise Coherent Mind.

This is not the post that I originally planned….

I’ve been pondering a lot of things lately.

As you all know, our beloved Teachinfourth was taken home all too soon.  Those of us left behind are stunned and shaken, and missing all the great and little things that made him such a wonder to be around. My brother had a way of lightening another person’s load; no matter what was going on in his own busy day, he never failed to find the time to lift another person who was down.

But what now? I think to myself. How do I go on without him? How do I find enjoyment in life now that he isn’t here to share it with me?

Well, here is what I figured out….

You pick yourself up and keep busy. You give yourself in service to others.  You take the time for the little things… like reading a book, or, even better, read one aloud to someone. I am amazed at how much more I enjoy a book when I read it to my husband.

You take the time to appreciate rainbows. You walk through the fallen autumn leaves and relish in the crunch underfoot that reminds you of your youth. You make a deliberate decision to look for the silver linings in things that come your way.

You remind yourself that it is okay to sing and to dance and to find joy in your days.

Yes, there will be tears, but tears are a good thing… tears are a way of letting go of those emotions that shouldn’t be boxed away inside. It is okay to cry. You’re human, and a part of you has broken. We all cry
when we are in pain, but pain doesn’t last forever.

Part of me will always miss and long for my brother… but I also know that he would feel terrible to know that his passing was keeping me in pain. We shared so much laughter and companionship… how can I not be grateful for all the time that I was able to have him here in my life?

Change can be hard, especially when it is not of your choosing… so make some changes that you do have control over. I went and got my hair cut incredibly short. It was a big change as I had been growing my hair out for the last few years, but it was something completely within my control and besides regaining a bit of control, my new look is absolutely fabulous.

Sadly I come across people who knew my brother and are devastated because they do not believe they will ever see him again. I tried thinking that way for a moment and firmly told myself “you will never see him again or hear that dear voice teasing you again”. I won’t kid you; I went into a round of hysterics. It took me awhile to calm down enough to remember that it was okay, that I knew better. I can only imagine how hard it must be to live with that kind of belief on a daily basis.

So what do I believe?

Well I am not about to stand on a soapbox and thump on my Bible saying, “Well God says this…” because not everyone believes in God, or other supernatural beings that hold the strings of the Universe in their mighty hands, but I will remind you of this: simple physics state that something cannot become nothing. Matter may be converted into another form, but it does not cease to be simply because we can no longer see it.  Not only does science support this, but my heart and mind do as well. My brother may have laid his body aside, but the essence that was truly him still exists.

I recently came across an excerpt from “The Last Battle”, which is the final book in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia (one of my brother’s favorite series)… it was because of this excerpt that I changed my post for today….

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:

"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee!  Come further up, come further in!"

For those who have not read this particular book, the unicorn has just witnessed the destruction of Narnia, and is expressing everyone’s amazement at what awaited them. Here was what they thought would be the very end of things, and then they discover that all they knew before was but a pale shadow of what was to come.

Until I am reunited with my brother again, I will remember this: that he is home, and he is fine… and while I plan to live a very long and fruitful life, I can rest assured in the knowledge that he will be there to greet me when it is finally my turn to depart from this life into what greater adventures lie before me.

So yes, I miss him dearly and still do shed tears of mourning, but I also hold within me such happiness at the thought of that glorious reunion that awaits us all when our time upon this beloved Earth is through.

So, you ask. What do I do in the meantime?


You go on living.


Richard Gregg said...

Beautiful statement.

Rachel said...

Thank you for this Shawna. Thank you........

A Lark said...

Nicely said.

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