Thursday, July 7, 2011

Difficult Goodbye

There are times when silence is required. There are times when you try to vocalize those thoughts within and the feelings pulsing through you - only to fall short. The last few weeks I have tried to post - only to delete or sequester the post to "drafts". I praise God for allowing those times of quiet, so I could listen to His still, small voice. The Great Comforter - comforted. If you have wondered why there has not been much activity on this or our adoption blog, it is because those things become less priority when in the midst of difficulty. After all, it is only a blog. However, I do feel that I need to express what has happened as of late, and not simply ignore it - and in so doing express my deepest desire to come from it all.

The above picture is one of my Grandmother, and Grandfather Bender and their daughter and son (my father - Bruce). June 11th, a few short weeks ago, my Dad passed from this life to eternity. If that were the end of the story, that would be difficult enough, but it isn't.

Unfortunately, my father decided to take his own life - and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

To answer what you might be wondering: no note was left. No good-bye. No voice message.

I am his only child, and Dad was not married at the time - although he had been married twice before.

Death is difficult - and suicide is very painful for those left behind. There are so many unanswered questions. There are so many "what - ifs" and grappling with remorse, guilt, a deep mourning, and yes ... a little anger at times.

But at the heart of it all, I miss him - I miss my Dad. I still have a hard time digesting it all.

Dad and I didn't always have the best of relationships. Much played a part in that. Divorce of both my parents at a young age didn't help and add to that different stresses that life can afford in general, made it hard at times.

That doesn't change this: he is my father. I love him so very much. I miss him and am so saddened that he is gone. That he felt that this life wasn't worth living anymore, it hurts so deeply.

We all have times where we have a fleeting thought of someone, thinking we need to stop by and visit them, or give them a call - only to get caught up in our day and forget. I can't tell you how often that happened to me with regards to my Dad. To my shame. There were many times that he was laid on my heart, and I got caught up in my busyness.

Many have offered that it isn't my fault. Nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome. Perhaps.

Trust me, I am not the type to dwell there. However, I do need to take account for what I know is truth, and that is HARD. Yet, it is required. The truth is I could have done a much better job of keeping the communication up. I can't stress enough how important it is. When someone crosses your thoughts or heart - it is for a reason.

This is my regret, don't let it be yours.

The other side of this - is that I can't speak to my father's death without recognizing that I so wish he could have experienced the peace that Christ can offer. The way he died is so hard because you know that he must of been in some inner agony and turmoil. I so wish he could have been freed from that.

I don't know the heart of man. I can't judge that - even though I have tried and tried to grab ahold of that surrounding my father's death - I have tried so desperately to sleuth out any evidence of faith that he may have had, only to be reminded that I am not God - only He knows the heart of man.

The heart of man. How is your heart?

Eternity exists. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. It is important to know where you will reside once this life here on Earth is finished, and you CAN know. It's not a shot in the dark. It's real.


Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
- Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
- If you know that God is knocking on your heart's door, ask Him to come into your heart. You can know for sure that your home is in Heaven when you die.

Having a relationship with Christ is just that. Salvation is not a church membership, or by baptism - although these things are good and should be studied out once you ask Christ into your heart.

Salvation is a free gift. It is simple and doesn't require elegant speech or specific words to say. It requires you to confess Christ with your lips and believe He died and rose again from within your heart.

That is why I feel compelled to be transparent and tell you not only that my father passed, but how he passed. Again, I don't know the heart of man. No one can. It is not for me to judge. However, I can say that God can get glory, even from this. Don't misunderstand. My Lord is more grieved than I at my father's passing. I know that. Yet I also know that God can get glory even through difficult and tragic situations.

There is a world of people before us. Hurting. In deep turmoil. In agony of spirit. Only wanting others to reach out to them. Are we about our own busyness, our own life and doings - or are we about sharing our hope that resides within?

Do we take the time to reach out to family, and friends?

It saddens me at length to know that it has taken this as a stark reminder.

Eccl. 7:2 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart."

This is tragic. This is hard. I hate that this has happened. That I have had to share with my older boys how Grandpa died. Yet, I KNOW that in even this - there is a lesson. Yes, a hard and horrible lesson . "... and the living will lay it to his heart."

I have laid it to my heart. I pray I will not forget. Souls are important. Relationships matter and have been placed before me for a reason. May I not be neglectful in them.

~~ I love you Dad ~~

This picture was taken not even two years ago. One month before my Grandmother passed. Dad is holding Justus - then just three months old. Dad was a good man, and loved his grandchildren very much.

Apart of me wishes I could go back for a moment in time. To be privy to what was about to occur, and somehow prevent it. To keep it from happening. I cannot. I cannot erase what has been - I can only go forward and glean what I can.

Thank you for your prayer.


B.E.Hughes said...

We ARE praying... thank you for opening your heart.

summer said...

So very sorry!!!! You will be in all my thoughts and prayers!!!!

nicole said...

I cannot even begin to imagine your heartache. I will pray for all of you.

Lexi said...

I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am for you. My insides ache for what you must be going through right now. We are praying for you and your sweet family.

Lindsey said...

You have a beautiful heart. I will be praying for you. Keep leaning into the Lord.

Julia said...

I know this was hard to post and I just want you to know that I admire you greatly for being honest. You loved your dad. That was evident in every word you wrote. I continue to pray that God will comfort you in the deepest parts of your being. I also pray that your words will inspire each and every one of us to consider those we love. Thank you my sweet friend!! Writing this with tears flowing freely.

Amy L said...

I'm so sorry Charissa. I pray you find comfort in our Lord. You and your family are in my prayers.....

Garth and Becky said...

Charissa, so sorry to hear about your dad. Many hugs to you. May the Great Comforter heal your pain and sorrow. Thank you for the challenge about regrets and taking the time for what is really important.

Jenny said...

Love you and am so sorry you're going through this valley. I appreciate the reminder to connect with those we love and who the Lord brings to our hearts. As I've said before, if you need anything, we are here for you.

Melissa said...

Praying you find comfort in your time of loss. Your love for your dad is evident.

Mcarthur Mile said...

My dear friend, God laid it on my heart two years ago to send the gospel message some how to my distant relatives. I had been dragging my feet for two years! praying for you through this and even trying to imagine your footsteps, I finally wrote out several letters and bought some books. I got them all sent out yesterday. I know that it does not replace but God has used you Dad loud and clear for me. I am very sorry for the pain you must have. Love ya! Mary

Mel said...

Praying for peace and understanding for you Charissa. Thank you for sharing such a personal and painful part of your life. Thank you for the reminder that life is fleeting. You couldn't change what happened, but we can all learn from it. Hugs, love, and many prayers for you, my friend.

Charissa said...

I don't even know what to say. I'm sorry. Be at peace, my friend.

Cory said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Death is never easy, and especially like this. :( I lost my father many years ago, and although he had many struggles in his life he was my daddy, so I know just how you feel. :) God bless and comfort you as you walk this path.

Faith for Hope said...

Many hugs and prayers. Love you all, Grace

Jo's Corner said...

Dear Charissa ~ I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. And, for his life to have ended in the way it did. I have been in your place. Sadly, my 32 year old brother-in-law chose to take his life. Almost 17 years (in August) and not a day goes by that I don't think of Troy. I was the last person to speak to him that day. I too, struggled with what I could have said or done to change things. But, his mind was in a hurting place and I did not realize that. One thing that I absolutely BELIEVE, is that he is with Jesus. Our God is a Loving Father. Loving Fathers and Mothers do not turn away from their children when they are hurting and in pain! And, our Heavenly Father is FAR Greater than any parent on this earth. HE Loves His children! HE sees and feels our pain. HE will never turn His back on one of us in our greatest time of pain. I know that His heart aches and He cries at the bad choices we make, but He NEVER, EVER leaves His Children! I BELIVE that your Daddy is with Him. That He was waiting with open arms to hold him and comfort him.
My Prayers for you, Sweetie are that your heart will heal. That He will give you a Peace that passes all understanding. You won't know your Dad's heart and thoughts in this life, but one day you will. I would guess that the tremendous pain he was in had nothing to do with you. You are his baby girl, his only child. I'm sure he treasured you! I will also Pray that He gives you the strength to get through difficult days. That He will send all of the help you need to care for your family, while being able to mourn.
I love you, Charissa. Thank You, for the reminder to tell those we love that we DO love them! God Bless You ~ Jo

Jenny B. said...

Oh Charissa. I cannot even imagine what you must be going through. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so, dear sister.

Celeste warring said...

I love you alot and I am praying for you and your family. I can't imagine what you are going through but God will be there every step of the way, through every trial and so will I. Matthew 5:4,Psalm 55:22,Psalm 18:2.

Maria and Family said...

oh sweet heart. I am so very sorry. Sorry for your loss, sorry for your pain, sorry for your Dad- who must have been hurting so much. Suicide is such an ugly painful thing :( The Lord is the only healing for this situation. I will pray for your family. I cant imagine how hard this time is for your family(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Dear Charissa,
I would like to talk with you. I knew your father very well but I was unware of his passing, I am so sorry he is no longer with us. Please e-mail me----