Grief does not go away easily. Should it, if it is someone precious who has left us? Grief also has many faces, not all of which are sad. Grief feels different with each passing day. Instead of rawness - of tears, of emotions - it gradually settles into a form of dull ache. Heaviness.
As predicted, Joan (and I am certain her parents too) has been flooded by an unending torrent of “should haves” and “could haves”. None of them made her feel glad. Only regret. And more sadness.
We have had our first Cheng Running Club run without Sim Lie. The first breakfast without him. First family dinner without him. The whole notion of Sim Lie having died and gone to be with God eternally still feels dreamlike. Each of us sleeps wishing that we would wake up and be glad that it was not real. But it is.
There are fewer tears but more gnawing in the heart of missing someone who had been an integral part of our lives. Something major had been ripped off violently, against our wishes. No permission asked. The result is a giant void filled with confusion, forlornness, pain.
Worrying for each other's coping actually helps each of us to cope. Ironically. That is not surprising, as seeking the other's welfare distracts us from wallowing. But it does not exempt us from walking the road of bereavement. No one can walk on our behalf. No proxy efforts will heal that brokenness that is a gaping wound in our hearts.
How does one move on from a tragedy? By not hurrying. It is not proper to wish for normalcy in a time like this. Let the length and breadth and depth of immense loss bathe our broken hearts. As we bathe in our sorrow, we begin to sense the very presence of the eternal God whose smile is upon us. He who has collected every drop of tear from our eyes is here with us. He feels the full measure of our pain because our eternal Father had lost His Son on the cross too. He knows grief. And thus He knows how to comfort us.
When we look up, we see a face streaked with tears like ours. It is the Lord Jesus. He speaks softly to console. He assures us that everybody grieves when one of us departs from this side. His best consolation is to infuse into our hearts that Sim Lie is free and joyful on the other side. He is waiting to receive us when it is our time. The heavenly rejoicing and partying has begun. It awaits our participation.
See you soon, bro.