I’ve been thinking a lot about anniversaries. I wrote a few weeks ago about my ordination anniversary and what a gift these last few years have been. When I woke up on the day, I found myself looking through my Facebook memories. There I saw photos and posts from my dad who passed away last year. It was difficult to look through those words and pictures. And as I found tears welling up in my eyes, I remembered that soon it will have been an entire year since my dad passed away.
Social Media and Grief
One of the strangest things about this year of grief has been social media. From navigating when and what to post as things were happening to connecting with family members and friends, there has been one thing that I have been both grateful and saddened by.
My dad was an avid social media user. Sort of a constant social media user. Nearly every day he posted something, wrote on my Facebook wall, or shared an inspirational quote with me. And so over this last year, each day as Facebook shows me memories from the previous years, there is often something from my dad.
“I’m so proud of you!!” “Don’t give up!” “Go to the gym!” These little notes have brought me to tears and made me laugh. It’s like he’s still sending messages even though he’s not here.
Faith & Prayer
As I look back on this last year, as we get closer to the anniversary of my dad’s death, I am so grateful for those little messages from him, and from God’s messages of comfort and peace. My faith has been such an important part of my own grieving process. Knowing that God can take my anger, my tears, and my sadness. I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, sometimes in silence, sometimes not.
Thinking about anniversaries that hold joy and celebration like my anniversary, also has me thinking about the anniversaries of important prayers, people, and sadness. In the weeks leading up to my dad’s passing, it was quiet moments in my car praying to God that gave me peace in terrible anxiety.
It was the prayers and music and meditation of our Wednesday night worship service live streamed on Facebook that gave me strength and courage during my dad’s first surgery. So now, as I think about all of the little anniversaries that lead up to the anniversary of my father’s death, they are filled with prayer and love and comfort. I am so grateful for that.
This blog will be posted on September 25th, one of the most difficult anniversaries for me as I remember my dad. I’ll be spending the day caring for myself and my family. In memories, in prayer, and in some tears I’m sure. I’ll be spending the day giving thanks for my dad, and for the hope in God’s promises that we’ll see each other again.
For all of the difficult anniversaries in our lives, may we feel the presence of those we miss, God’s healing Spirit comforting us, and continue in prayer for and with one another.