Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Hardest Part of Letting Go

As the parent of a child whose liver is not the one she was born with, I spend a lot of time thinking. Thinking about the family that lost their child. Thinking about how different my life would be if no donor liver came. Thinking about the future --- will Sarah need another liver transplant at some point? Will she live a long life? Will I have to face the possibility of losing her, all over again?

The liver parents in the audience know what I'm talking about. This is our world and it's an inescapable maze of questions, uncertainty, possibilities, ups, downs, rejoicing and mourning. Many days we have only our faith to carry us and while that is a great comfort, we still can find ourselves stumbling like blind men, asking why her? Why now? Why, why, why?

I learned last night that a dear family friend is losing a lengthy battle with breast cancer. You can read about Jane here. The strength, determination and perseverance she has shown is nothing short of miraculous. And if you knew Jane, I'm certain you would see Jesus. Throughout her difficult, exhausting fight she's been an incredible blessing to so many people. The impact of her witness may never be known. I know she's inspired me to re-evaluate what IS and ISN'T important in my life.

As I watch her husband my good friend, Ray, wrestle with the possibility of losing Jane to heaven, I find myself remembering...

...when I pledged my life to my wife, no matter what might assail us.

...what it was like when my first child was born and the dreams I had (and still have) for her life.

...the sadness of people close to me losing loved ones to suicide.

...not knowing what would happen when my third child experienced a rare health issue where her inner organs actually exited her body for a short time.

...facing the possibility Sarah might die before she could receive a new liver.

It's not my intention to bring you down. Far from it. Each of us face different seasons of life and each of those holds something we must be prepared to let go. There is a lot we should be willing to let go of with little fight. But when it comes to loved ones, oh, that's so hard. People are never easy to let go, no matter if we know they're headed to a place with no disease, no sickness, no pain.

The fact they will be departing this life and leaving our presence is enough to warrant tears and mourning. We strive so hard to cling to the ones we love, knowing our lives will be the ones that are emptier because they are no longer with us. But in letting go, we may find that the blessing we receive from their memory, from knowing them intimately, from loving them - even for a short time - is a priceless gift that will never die.

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