Yesterday was tough. A month has passed, and Andi just seems so incredibly far. I don't want to be further away. The further away from that day we go, it almost seems to make it worse.
The saying goes, "Time heals all wounds".
That saying makes me wrinkle my nose in frustration.
Why, you might ask? Simply because, the wounds remain. Eventually, like you would have with a real life wound, it will scab over and be covered with scar tissue but visible scarring remains. On top of that, you also have the emotional pain associated with the injury.
No matter how you are hurt, scars remain. Those scars remind us that the past is, indeed, incredibly real.
Unfortunately, as time goes on from such a great loss, the pain remains fresh for those close. The wounds they bear seem to be cut that much deeper, wider and the injury is just so intensely and consistently present. To those that weren't as close, they seem to carry on without as much pain or hurt. It's as if their scars heal so much quicker, and those of us trying to slowly heal get left behind and forgotten about. We seem to sit behind stuck in a dimly lit hospital room attached to a wound vac because our non-healing and stubborn wound has left us hospital bound, unable to free ourselves from cords to get out to the fresh air and everyday routine. (sorry for the hospital reference there..)
The hard part about losing a loved one? The scars aren't visible to just a passer by. To co workers, to strangers, or even on a day by day basis. You can't know the injury by looking, there is no attached wound vac, no zipper scar, no visible chest tube scarring. When others look at me, they don't know the scars on my heart and soul, the pain of my loss, or that I have only acknowledged that loss no less than a hundred times already in the span of six hours upon waking for my day.
Sure, time will help to heal the wound of loss, but there will always be reminders.
But at the same time, I almost don't want to heal. I want those reminders. I want them repeatedly, so that the legacy of my beautiful friend lives on. I don't want it to heal completely and be like our friendship never happened, our support of each other, our disagreements, and our amazing triumphs over difficulties and trials. I want to be marked, forever. People need to know what I knew about her as a person. They need to know how she changed lives. They need to know about her compassion for others, how genuine her love was for her patients and families, and the way she served others. They need to know how she saved lives.
In the same way, I want to be sure that I live my life so it is known that I have been marked by Christ. I want reminders of his goodness, his grace, how he has walked me through the hard times and how I can prove it by my scars. People need to know Him. I need to share with others His goodness, His encompassing love that surrounds me and gives me peace when I feel like there is just no hope. They need to know how He changes lives, how He cares for us. In the same way that Andi helped saved Caysen's life, others need to know He saves lives. They need to know that we get to see her again, because of Him. That she is safe and healthy and with those who went before her - because of Him. They need to know by His grace, we are saved through faith. They need to know that He saved her.
Wounds suck. Especially the slow healing ones. As time goes on, it seems as if others have forgotten, but I have not. I'm still deeply changed by the loss of Andi, and always will be.
Thankfully, God has given me new interactions to try to help me with healing. Friends and family of Andi's that are with me as we walk through this healing process. I will always speak of Andi and share about what she did for us. I will always try to live my life in the way she did, serving others and being so incredibly selfless. (I remember when she told me that she couldn't drive through a McDonalds without donating EVERY TIME to Ronald McDonald House because she knew how many people were served by those - including some of her very dear friends.) She spent more time thinking about others than herself. She always went the extra step, whether she had the time or energy for it, she did it anyway because she cared. She was dedicated to helping those in need - and the more I think about it, that is very Christ-like in itself.
I want to be sure I live that way. Caring for others, devoted to them, and most importantly sharing the love of Christ. Andi is happy and healed and well in heaven, and we can all have that too! We all have that to look forward to. We have that because of God's deep love for us. All we have to do is accept it.
It's a place that is so beautifully perfect, we don't need time to heal wounds. We will already be healed. Perfectly.
There will be no scars.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who has seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these things are trustworthy and true'". - Revelation 21: 4-5
“Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.”