My dad died 4 years ago today. This is a day that I mark in my life but I wish this is a day that would never have happened. It reminds me and brings me back to a very difficult time in my life.
This is a day that comes around once a year that reminds me of something I know each and everyday – that someone is missing.
Someone is missing at my son’s soccer games. Someone is missing after I preach a good sermon to talk it through with. Someone is missing to give me advice and counsel when I desperately need it. Someone is missing in my life.
Some days its felt more than others, but its always felt. And today is one of those days.
So what do you do on days like today? Where things are hard, loss seems so present, and hurt so close by?
Well here is my answer – but I promise you it’s not a good one, or really one you’d expect a pastor to say. But it is an honest answer. You give in for a day. You give in for a day.
I know people say be strong, say get through it, say don’t ever give up. I know people say that, but sometimes I just think people are wrong or maybe others are just stronger than me. But I know when days like today come around once a year, the answer isn’t to try to tough it out, the answer isn’t to try to forget the hurt, the answer isn’t to busy yourself past it, but to enter into it.
So that’s what I’m doing today. I’m giving in for a day.
There is a line in a song I love by Florence and the Machine that says this, “I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in” And that’s how I feel today. I’m not giving up. Tomorrow I will get up and go to work. Tomorrow I will wake up and cook breakfast for my boys like I do every day. Tomorrow I will check emails, read Facebook, and check soccer scores. Tomorrow I will get back to my regular rhythm of life. But that’s tomorrow, today I won’t. Today I’ll give in, and remember that the rhythm of my life has forever been changed because someone is missing. So I will give in, I will be sad, I will sit, I will think, I will pray, and then decide I don’t want to pray, and I’ll talk about my dad. And I’ll repeat those actions a hundred times today.
You might disagree that this is healthy. That’s fine, do whatever is healthy for you. Tough it out if you can. But I know I’ve just never been that tough. So today “I’m not giving up. I’m just giving in.” And if you’ve ever been through loss, difficulty, or death it’s okay to give in for a day.