It's a funny thing, that grief! It hits you at the most random times.
Recently it hit me when I was watching the video at Northland Church's Living Beyond Yourself study. I miss my uncle. I started to cry uncontrollably. Unexpectedly, tears streamed down my face and I felt vulnerable. It didn't matter that I was sitting in one of the back corners at a table when they started. I knew immediately that I wanted to run away. I wanted to get into my car and go for a long drive. I didn't want anybody to see me or to ask me what was wrong, because I wasn't quite sure myself.
I did know this: I miss my uncle.
You can read about him here. He passed away last August. His battle with cancer was difficult to watch. This man who made everyone laugh and feel like they were a part of his family was in pain. He couldn't do the things he used to do. It was hard for him even to pick up his children. My roommate was with us when we celebrated my birthday a little in Sarasota last May. She said she couldn't even tell he was in pain because he was so inviting. He lived his last days as a man with purpose, a man who relied on the strength of God. It was beautiful to have been there to see even a part of it, though it was painful then.
And I find myself in pain now. I've always been the emotional one of the family that not a lot of people understood. I cried for an hour in a way that I haven't in a long time. I have tended to think that makes me a weak person. I used to think that people wouldn't care about my tears because I am so emotional. But, they matter. And I can't be ashamed to say that I wish he were here. I wish that I could call him so he could make me laugh. Or he could give me some wisdom that comes only with precious experience. He can't invite strangers into his world just so he could make their day anymore. He can't give generously to the lives of others because of one simple fact: He's not here. He's. Not. Here.
That's hard for me to compute. I'll admit that I'm struggling hard right now with that fact. You never know when grief is going to hit you. If you see me and I'm crying or sad, feel free to just give me a hug.