As I was driving this morning, memories, thoughts, and emotions were washing over me.  One moment I was feeling good.  The next moment, I was crying (or stifling a cry).  As I looked up, I saw beauty in the clouds, the sky, the rivers, and the sun.  These also triggered memories, and with memories come waves of emotion.

It hasn’t always been so, but more often than not, these trigger events result in a couple of things.  First, is a wave of sadness, and a trip back in time wishing for things that were.  Another hug, another kiss, another time to just sit down and look into her eyes.  Then things start to settle. I still have the memories, but I also start recognizing things around me.  Gratitude for God showing me His glory.  Thankfulness for the many, many years and memories we have together.  The pure beauty around me; beauty that Terry loved, as well.  As I was letting these feelings flow, it came to me that this grief thing was like an ocean.

You may have read that Terry and my favorite spot was at the ocean.  This was where we would go and experience some of our most memorable moments.

There were times when we sat there, that the storms would roll in.  We would sit in the shelter of our car, listening to music, reading, and talking.  The shelter of the car kept the storms outside; while we still could experience the moments together.

There were times when the winds blew.  Sometimes hard, sometimes light.  We could venture out into the wind, but still had the shelter of the car.  Often, in the car, we would open the windows to let the wind flow through.  Still experiencing the moments, reading, listening, talking.

Other times, there was a calm to the ocean.  Yet, never did the waves cease.  Even in the calmest of days, waves were constantly coming in and going out.  The tide would come in, the tide would go out.  We would walk down by the edge of the ways, dodging in and out as the waves came in, holding hands and laughing.

There were times when the ocean wasn’t calm, yet wasn’t stormy.  Even still, the waves came in and went out.  Most of the time, the wind blew.  The roar of the ocean in our ears was constant.  The beauty of the expanse of the ocean was ever present.  We could venture out, or we could stay in the shelter of our car.

During all of these times, we could count on the seagulls being ever present, swooping, and flying (free) in the sky.  Nearly all of the time, the wind was present.  The waves crashed into the shore; sometimes with intensity, sometimes calmly.   When we were there in the evening, there was always a sunset.  Sometimes it was hidden by the stormy clouds, sometimes the beauty of the sun was brilliant in the clouds as it crept down past the horizon.

Today, God revealed to me that this grief, these memories of my honey, these emotions of missing her, remembering her, loving her, is like those times at the ocean.  Minute by minute, day by day, day and night, the Oceans of Grief are ever present with the waves coming in and going out.  With the ever present changes; even during different times of day.

There are days where the storm is crashing in.  There are minutes when the “weather” changes from storms to calm and back again.

The constant presence of grief, like the Ocean, is ever present.  It’s waves come in and go out.  I can be sitting and really be feeling good, when a storm of emotions will crash in.  Then, the sun will come out, the sunset will wash over me, and things will be really good.  These emotions will change minute by minute and day by day.

Like having our car as a shelter at the ocean, God provides a shelter for me, no matter what.  When the storms come crashing, when the winds blow, I can run to the shelter of His presence.  This shelter may come in the form of calmness from him, it may come from a song on the radio, it may come from the loving from a friend or family member, a hug, sitting by the shore of a nearby river, walking and listening to a podcast, or just sitting at the restaurant having breakfast with a great group of friends.

The best times at the Ocean was when Terry and I shared the times together.  It didn’t matter if it was stormy or calm, we had each other and we had God.  We held hands, we talked with each other, we read, we worshiped.  It didn’t matter, we were together.  Today, Terry is still present with me, but in memory and love.  The great love we shared makes for some very intense emotions.  But, it also makes for some REALLY great memories. I hold onto those memories, and think of these times when I may have a tendency to have my own “pity-party”.

Above all, God is always there.  Like we ran to our car in the storm, God is a shelter in my storm. He listens, He holds me, He talks to me.  He walks with me.

There is a song from titled “You Make Me Brave” by Amanda Cook.  As the song goes – “Your love in wave after wave crashes over me”.  Even so, the feelings and memories of my honey are like wave after wave crashing over me.

I am learning to let the waves crash; after all, who can change the way the waves crash at the ocean.  Instead of trying to change them, I am learning how to embrace them.

  • Maybe I need to pause and just let them wash over me
  • Maybe I need to look out over them to the sunset to revel in the beauty of the moment
  • Maybe I need to hold onto my honey’s hand and just bundle up and walk aways; caressing her memories, talking to her, listening to God, laughing, running – whatever God would have for me in this moment
  • Maybe I need to reach out to someone or something to hold me for just this moment
  • Maybe I just need to laugh and love the beauty of the moment
  • Maybe I just need to sit in my car, with the angels of God surrounding me, and let Him shelter me

How about you?  What do you do when these waves come crashing in?  Leave me a comment or send me a note.  I would love to hear from you.