And the Greatest of These is Love

Rose by Christina, my cousin, via Monet's Garden NY
Rose by Christina, my cousin, via Monet’s Garden NY

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: 13

It was one of those heavy heart weeks. A young woman who I have grown up with my whole life, passed away suddenly at the age of 49.

Jim and I went to the funeral home last week. The line to see her and the family was outside, down the block. Her children were there, young and sweet, playing with their closest friends.

This is more traumatic the older I get. People, loved ones, are passing. I am not happy about it. I try to be accepting of it. All the while wondering what the heck is going on.

I’m sure you know of someone who has passed suddenly, quickly. The family is left wondering, we are all left wondering, what for? Why does this happen?

I tell you. I don’t know the answers. I wish I did. Years ago, I had different ideas, based on fears and folklore. Someone is being punished, someone did something wrong- the whole evil eye stuff I grew up with.

I no longer believe in a punishing God. I believe in a loving, caring, take your burdens off your back God. He is there, ready to lift me up, lift us up from the weight of our sorrow and our problems. Things happen, LIFE happens and grief overwhelms us at times. LIFE is unpredictable, sudden, chaotic.

BUT. It is also Sweet. Delicious. Loving. Caring. We are here for only a short time on this magnificent planet we call earth. As heavy as our sorrow is sometimes, the sun rises the next morning. People go about their business. The world goes on.

Deep down, it is Love that will get us through the worst of times. Knowing the love that WAS, from our departed ones. The LOVE from our family and friends that will see us through. The hugs and kisses they will bestow on us. The prayers they will say and the thoughts they will think.

I know one thing that I don’t want to do. I don’t want to wallow forever, stuck and wondering. I want to grieve and move on. I want to remember forever, the loving person that my friend was and the example she set of family love and devotion. There is light in the darkness and the sun will shine tomorrow morning.

I am certain of it.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Matthew 5:14-15

Join me on my graceful journey.

28 Replies to “And the Greatest of These is Love”

  1. Very nice post, remembering your friend, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending comforting thoughts to you and Jim. I was thinking about Richard the other day. Each day is a gift.

  2. I lost my cousin Lori, 2 weeks ago. She was just 50 years old.She is the first of us to go and it saddened me that she left us so young. She was estranged from her 2 son’s, but the younger one came back to her near the end. She had MS and had many problems. We were all close when we were young, but as life happened, we grew apart. Her death has brought a few of us closer together again. Just an hour after she died, she paid me a visit! It was creepy and cool at the same time! I was standing in my kitchen, all alone, thinking about her and how funny she was, when all of a sudden the trash can lid popped open across the room from me! I laughed as I walked over to close it and I felt her presence there. She came to tell me good bye and that she was back with her daddy, whose death she never got over. I felt truly blessed that she chose to visit me at that time.
    I also believe in a loving God and I don’t feel she, or anyone else, was being punished for anything. I think she chose her experiences before coming here and experienced the things she was supposed to. But that’s a whole different topic I could talk on all day, LOL!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Cathy, thank you for sharing your experience. I love that your friend presented herself in such an imaginative way! Loss will sometimes bring people back together in a wonderful way. It is so true. Ah, thank you for sharing. xo Joanne

  3. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Death is never easily explained; the feelings run deep regardless of the relationship. And, you are right, the older we get, the more difficult it may seem. Peace to you and to her family,

  4. Joanne, this is such a beautiful post! Iam sure this family needs & would appreciate lots of prayers & expressions of love right now! So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute this is

  5. Joanne, dear, I am sorry for the loss of your dear friend. She was so young, and her sweet children…my heart is sad over the thought of them. My heart and spirit are thinking lovingly toward you at this time, in the hopes that grief turns into simple, loving, soft memories of your friend’s life here and the moments you shared.

    Love and hugs,
    Marianne xo

  6. Yes,Jo,life is that way,isn’t it — sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet. Italians say, “La vita e dolc’ et amaro” — which connotes more than life is bittersweet. In it’s nuance, it means something more like, “Life is sweet in its bitterness and bitter in its sweetness.” In moments such as this one, that you’ve painted so caringly, I’m reminded of Richard Burton’s words from his translation of The Kassidah: “So, we dance along death’s icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun?” My condolences for your loss. . .

  7. I am also sorry for your loss. I thank you for sharing your heart with us. Prayers going your way and also for the family of your friend.

  8. So well said Joanne, that was such beautiful words. I too lost many people close to me this last few years, some old and some so young. It is so hard to accept.

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