Daddy, it hurts

I remember when we first learned that my brother had died.  

It felt like this.

I lost somebody special today.  Forever, the world is marred.  Forever darkened.

Oh, when he was here, he sure brightened it.  The memories I carry are of fun and laughter, craziness, brotherhood.

When my brother died, I knew so little.  I was in shock, couldn’t even cry for a long time.  I’m not sure I understand much more today, and I keep crying.

When my brother died, I felt so far from him, so unable to help, wishing there was something I could have said, something I could’ve done.  Not very realistic, it had been awhile since our last meaningful conversation.  And our control over circumstances is limited, no matter what we think or say.

But, for both of them, I would want them to know they were loved, that they are still loved, will always be loved.  I would want them to know that, despite their humanity, we were proud to have known them, honored to walk with them.

So daddy, your people are hurting right now.  King and Lord, we don’t know why and can’t breathe because of how sad this feels.

Can we lean on you right now?  Could you carry us a while?


Does the Hurt Ever Heal?


One of those scary places to go.  Death, sadness, irrevocable loss, days, weeks, months gone forever.


In 1978 my brother committed suicide.  His body was found almost six months later where it had washed up on a river bank.  As we waited through the months when we knew nothing and then endured the questions and analysis of dental records and other comparative data, we were torn between wanting to know and not wanting to know.


It has been thirty-five years and it still hurts so much.  I can’t write now without crying.


I miss him.

I would’ve loved to see him meet my wife, my kids.  They would’ve laughed at his idiosyncracies, some very similar to mine, some that put mine to shame.  They would’ve been amazed by his talent and insight.  And, if they were lucky enough to hold his hand, they would’ve have known the strength and gentleness that, to this day, is my picture of the hands of Jesus.

For those of you who have suffered great loss (some are so much worse than mine, so much deeper) you know that the hurt never heals, never goes away.  We compartmentalize, we bury, we cope with what has happened but we don’t “get over it.”

And that’s OK.

My Jesus will not remove all pain until I stand before Him in heaven.  When He claimed that He had “overcome the world”, it didn’t mean that the world was gone.  It meant that He was greater, stronger, deeper than what would happen to us here.  His triumph is not over the cross, it is through the cross.

And in that, I find His peace.