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The Pain of Losing a Loved One

This weekend will make two years since my Aunt Doll passed away. I know that time heals all wounds, but this one is taking a long time.

Aunt Doll babysat me when I was small.

I was the flower girl in her wedding. We took countless road trips together to my grandparents’ home.

She helped me with my makeup for both of my proms. I typed her papers when she was in graduate school.

Aunt Doll and my husband (boyfriend at the time) were close. She was an elementary school teacher and had her students send him letters and pictures when he went to war. She and her students were so happy when he came to see them when he returned.

Our family was shocked to find out that Aunt Doll had cancer. By the time it was discovered, it was already pretty advanced. Aunt Doll fought bravely against cancer for two years.

I saw Aunt Doll about three weeks before her death. With my background in the health care field, I knew that there was no way that she was going to win this battle against cancer.

But despite looking death in the face, I continued to pray and believe that God could work a miracle in her life and heal her. My spirit refused to give up on praying for her to be healed.

I was hundreds of miles away at a public health conference when I received the phone call from my mom that Aunt Doll had died. My family didn’t want to tell me right away, but the funeral was scheduled for three days later.

Instead of grieving, I had to focus on:

  • changing flight arrangements to get back to my home state the next day
  • taking time off work
  • packing
  • traveling 12 hours by car with a three month old child that didn’t like to sit in his carseat

We got there about an hour before the wake started. The next day was the funeral. The day after that, we got back on the road to go home. I went back to work the next day.

I took no time to grieve. Now, I’m paying for it, two years later.

Since I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, my life has slowed down a little. I have more time to think about things that I neglected to think about while I was busy being a working mom.

Thoughts of sadness about my Aunt’s death have plagued me for months. My best friend Angie died unexpectedly. I grieved a long time, but not quite like this. After much debate and reflection, I think I have finally figured out what the issue is.

The reason why I struggle with my Aunt Doll’s death is because I made a huge spiritual investment into seeing her healed and delivered from cancer.

I fasted.

I constantly prayed.

I had others praying.

I stretched my faith tremendously.

I believed God could and would heal.

When her healing didn’t happen the way I prayed that it would, I was devastated. I wondered why God didn’t “hear” my prayer. The prayers of the righteous do avail much right?

I felt robbed and honestly, I still do sometimes.

Despite my grief and complete inability to understand why my Aunt had to die from cancer, I still choose to believe that God can heal and will heal. My Aunt just got her healing in heaven. It’s not exactly how I prayed for her healing, but I guess it doesn’t matter how it happens, as long as it happens. She’s not hurting anymore and she is experiencing the joy of the Lord.

I guess that’s what I need to continue telling myself.

I hate cancer with a passion. It has affected way too many people in my family. I have to do something about this.

I know this isn’t a typical post, but I’m just sharing my heart today.

Please pray for me that God would continue to heal my heart on this loss and that I will have peace with my Aunt’s death.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • MOMSWEB August 5, 2009, 9:29 AM

    Bless your heart.
    Cancer runs strong in my family tree also. I was thinking about this yesterday as I popped blueberries in my mouth that I really didn't want, but needed a healthy snack. I try to do my part to prevent illness and disease in my temple, yet i fail often.
    Your outlook on your prayer for healing is definitely the beginning of your peace. We don't always want to accept this and it's so hard, but true.

  • Anonymous August 4, 2009, 7:14 PM

    The beauty of her life that we shared as sisters will never fade
    away. Eventhough you are gone to
    be wit the Lord, youare still so
    much alive in our hearts. You filled my life with laughter, joy,
    you stood by me and held my hand
    and walked with me through the years. I,m thankful for a sister
    that took on life with strength
    and dignity.
    I miss you so much.
    Love you
    charlene

  • Christian Mommy Writer August 4, 2009, 3:09 PM

    Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments and sharing of your personal testimonies. It is really encouraging.

    The death of a loved one is such a hard thing to cope with, but with God's help, we will all make it through.

    @Becky – thanks for your comments on the picture. It is one of my favorites of us together. She was beautiful on the outside and inside.

  • Becky August 4, 2009, 10:41 AM

    Thanks for sharing. I love the picture – I couldn't stop looking at it. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

  • God, My Savior Forever! August 4, 2009, 11:13 AM

    Wow…this sounds all too familiar. I lost my grandfather "Papa" in Jan and it's been a big blow to the heart. I am constantly reminded of him through songs, pictures, certain foods, I mean he's very alive in my mind. I've even dreamed with him and wish I could grab him righ tout of my dreams and kiss him one more time, hug him one more time, laugh with him one more time. I honestly feel that the pain gets a little easier to bear but you never stop mising someone that close to you. Every time something good happened in my life I rushed to buy a calling card and tell him all about it. I can no longer do that but like you said…he's now pain free. I prayed and prayed and cried out to God to heal him..he went downhill quick and ironically the day we finally got a feeding tube in and gave him mmuch needed nourshment and meds…he left us. It didn't make sence but God wanted him home. We can be a lil selfish at times because we want them to stay but we have to take their desire into consideration..my grandfather wanted to go. It was devasting for him to see himself bound to a bed, unbale to take care of his home, not even able to use the bathroom on his own. Now that we're expecting our miracle baby, I wish I could call him and tell him all about it…oh he would have been so happy..it was one of his biggest desires for me. But I know that one day he will meet his grandchild in Heaven..and my grandfather will rejoice to see the gift that God gave us! Hang in there my friend! You are not alone…I'm grieing right with you..they were a big loss and will forever be missed.

  • Chele August 4, 2009, 10:47 AM

    I will keep you in my prayers. I have been there. Actually kind of similar to your circumstances but it was my grandfather. It is hard.. but I believe that we are human and will always miss those people we love here on earth. Just keep reminding yourslef that you will see her again in Heaven! My grandfather died over 3 years ago and I still have moments of tears missing him. Cancer is a horrible thing. I don't think it is ever anything we will completely healed from.

  • monica August 4, 2009, 10:17 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a great person and even better Auntie! Stopping in from SITS to say Hi!

  • Julie Gillies August 4, 2009, 9:40 AM

    It's so nice to meet you! Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    I'm SO sorry about the loss of your precious, special Aunt. May God continue to heal your heart!

    My son is in the military…he and my daughter in law (and their 4 kids) live near Ft. Campbell. Are you anywhere close? Just wondering!

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