Death and Life in Springtime

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Dichelostemma capitatum (Blue Dicks)

Death is working in all of us. Last week death, by means of cancer, parted me from my husband, and I am now a widow. But the separation is not absolute, because Mr. Glad may be more alive than ever, to which truth the scriptures testify by the words of Christ Himself, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Nor will he and I be separated for long; we will meet in the Resurrection:

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buttercups

 

 

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (I Thessalonians)

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blue-eyed grass

I do comfort and console myself with these realities, while feeling the equally real tearing apart of me and my “other half,” our souls and bodies having been intertwined like a ball of string that is really two cords so closely tangled you can’t identify which strand you are seeing in any part of the thing. If one string is pulled out of the ball, just how misshapen and odd will it be? That’s what I don’t know, and what scares me.

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Common Meadowfoam

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children…

Every member of our family has received huge amounts of grace and joy during the last weeks, and especially in the days leading up to the funeral, which was last Saturday. One friend remarked how sweet it is to die in springtime, the season of new beginnings.crane creek poppies 3-29-15

On Sunday afternoon two daughters took me up into the hills for a walk among the oaks with their tiny new leaves, and to see the first wildflowers coming out. It was a stroll, not a hike, because all of us were quite spent from all the emotion and the activity. And one of us, daughter Pippin, was 9+ months pregnant, so we weren’t attempting a fitness walk.

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oak leaves

I took a lot of pictures, falling easily back into my old self’s delight in seeing the glories of Creation and making memories of them to prolong the experience. We saw at least two flowers that even Pippin didn’t know the names of; I will try to come back later and tell you, if I find out what they are.

Upon our return to the house the dear baby, whether on his own or by the promptings of his heavenly Father I don’t know, decided the time was right to make his arrival. Someone noted that he is an obedient child from the start, waiting until his parents had laid his grandfather to rest before taking center stage himself. That evening we welcomed a new man-child into the family, whom I will call Jamie.G w J blog

Jamie also showed love to his grandmother by being born in this county instead of waiting one more day until he would have been back in his home town. Not only I, but his two aunties were able to be present when he came swiftly into the light and into our arms. Among other good names, he was given that of his grandfather whom he had just missed in passing.

It’s all too wonderful and mysterious and splendid, don’t you think? It’s Springtime.

28 thoughts on “Death and Life in Springtime

  1. So beautiful, Gretchen, in so many ways. I pray that God will bless and keep you in His strength and love as you learn what new shape you are being given in this strange and wonderful journey, which also contains pains and fears. He carries us close to His bosom.

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  2. What lovely insights into Life.  I am so thankful to God for the consolations He is giving you.  Love, Christie

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  3. What a lovely post! I love your new boy. Such a sweet gift to come so you could all be together at his birth. God is good. I rejoice with you. I will write you an email of the things on my heart. 🙂

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  4. oh my dear dear friend; what sorrows and joys all at once! I have been thinking and praying for you and your beloved departed husband; I would have the same fears; but truly there is no separation in Christ Jesus our Lord and we are never apart from His love. I am thinking of you and praying for you. I was at Holy Protection Monastery this past weekend and prayed for you all there as well….. much love, hugs and prayers…

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  5. I’m very sorry for your loss.
    This post is about mysteries of life and death,
    and most aptly embellished with wonderful photos
    that show the beauty of God’s creation.
    Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Springtime.
    Hugs!

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  6. My mom told me of Mr. Glad’s passing, and I offer my condolences in your loss. You all have been in my thoughts and prayers these last couple weeks.

    Jamie is such a handsome lad…how marvelous that you were able to be there!

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  7. Dear Gretchen Joanna,
    What a precious mingling of sorrow, joy, and grace. I am praying that God’s grace and peace would continue to uphold and envelop you and your family. May the Memory of your Dearest Mr. Glad be Eternal!
    With sincere condolences and gentle wonder,
    Helena

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  8. Oh, Gretchen, I’m crying and smiling as I read this! Such a time of great sorrow and joy. What an Easter week this is for you! May the peace that passes all understanding be yours! xofrances

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  9. Oh, Gretchen! How lovely of our Savior to give you a special gift of a new grandson! Please do not be afraid of the “new” ball of string..it has all the memories and love of the first and the strength of Christ in YOU the Hope of glory!

    Thanks for sharing your walk. It’s just the first step forward! Bless you

    Leslie

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  10. I read this in the morning and have been thinking of it all day. Your words here are so real. Everyone who already commented said it better than I can. Sending you much love.

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  11. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:15
    I mourn with you over the loss of your husband; even as I rejoice with you over the birth of a new grandson.
    I am praying for you.

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  12. Oh, precious friend — I like to think (perhaps I’m silly?) that your dear husband, and that precious grandson of his, didn’t miss each other, but passed each other, clasped hearts on each other, in those intervening days. 🙂
    Your picture of the ball of string is beautiful. I must think that God, who can redeem and compensate for all things, is able to come in and prevent the chaos, the tangling, the mess. He will be your other string. You are dearly loved. As you say, it is a few years of separation, not an eternal loss. How thankful we are for this!

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  13. Dear Gretchen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss……In the midst of life…….What a blessing is the arrival of your new grandson into your world. I am praying for all the support and comfort and love you all need to carry you through this time of grieving.

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  14. And remember that God was the third strand in the string of your ball of string and remember that “a threefold cord shall not be broken”.

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  15. You have been on my mind so it is especially heartening to read of the Lord’s sweet blessings to you through your words and pictures, even in this season of such loss and grief over your husband. My heart skipped a beat at your description of a ball of string. What a perfect and vivid word picture. Jamie is a truly beautiful baby and he looks so peaceful. May the Lord bless him, and you and your family. Big hugs from Texas.

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  16. MK says exactly what was on my heart. I even envisioned Jamie and Mr. Glad passing in the heavens and smiling at each other. What actually happened is probably even more wonderful than we can imagine! Yes, and don’t fear that you will be misshapen because your other half has gone on ahead to heaven. God wove you together and He knows just how to make you whole again. The resurrection is our wonderful hope. How do others live without that hope? Hugs to you, Gretchen, as God helps you to shape a new life.

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss, for I know that your heart is filled with grief, even as it is filled with joy at the birth of your grandchild. You have been an inspiration in your writings and I hope that you are comforted by your faith, your family and many friends. Bless you,God bless you and your family!

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  18. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. May his memory be eternal.

    And congratulations on the birth of a new grandson! May God gave him many years.

    You and your family will be in my prayers.

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  19. I’ve read your post over and over and want to say something, but the words don’t come. Only a hug and my love, dear dear one.

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  20. All the comments above, again. I wish I had something helpful to say, but – thank you, your words have helped me! I’ve been thinking of you.

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