Anne Peterson

Healing words for wounded souls.

What if They’re not Missing Anything?

Image

Photo Jyrki Kymäläinen via Creative Commons

Wow, look at that!

Whenever we witness something amazing, the first thing we want to do is share it.

Love wants to share

Maybe you’ve seen a sunset that takes your breath away. Immediately you think of someone you want to share it with.

Tuck it in your pocket. Save it for when you get to heaven.

And maybe when slipping our memories out to share we’ll be surprised to hear,

“You should have seen it from here!”

My sister Peggy and I used to talk on the phone for hours.

We never ran out of things to say no matter how often we talked. Never.
And when she died, I began thinking about her in a different way. Long distance.

We think they’re missing out

As I traveled through life sister-less I thought about all the things she didn’t know about. She never met my daughter, my grandsons, Jude and Charlie, and now my little granddaughter, Ruthie.

And when I’ve thought about how she didn’t share my life, it stung.

But what if she hasn’t missed them. She saw them all, we just didn’t see them together.

Like when I learned how to drive in my 30‘s or when I graduated college in my 40‘s.

Maybe at our reunions with loved ones, as we settle in to share.

Maybe we won’t be the only ones talking.

A different perspective

I’ve thought my sister missed out on seeing my precious daughter.

But what if God gave her a sneak peek before he handed Jessica to me?

It’s something to think about.

I believe we’ll have unfathomable joy at our reunions. Whenever Jesus rose someone from the dead people rejoiced.

We know those in heaven are in a better place. One day we’ll be joining them.

God understands

God knows our hearts broke when our loved ones died. He gathered up our tears, slipping them in a special bottle he keeps with him.

But one day, the time we spent missing them will be like a vapor, a mist. Like nothing.

So when I experience life after a loved one dies, I’ll stick a post-it note on it with the words,

“For Later.”

We’re a culture who doesn’t like to wait. From microwave popcorn, to drive-throughs, our attitudes scream, “I want it now.”

But we have to wait for some things.

It builds our anticipation, our character.

Even God waits

God had to wait for 33 years after he placed His Son in a manger. God waits for us to turn to Him.

This Christmas I’ll once again be thinking of lost loved ones. But maybe I can change how I think about them.

We’ll spend Christmas pondering the birth of a baby king. Those in heaven will hear the angels rejoicing, up close and personal.

We have no idea what is in store for us.

We’ll get there, greeted by our loved ones. And after unbelievable hugs they’ll say,

“I’m so glad to hold you again, but I never stopped watching you.”

And maybe we’ll smile, realizing it’s true.

We’re seeing the same stars those in heaven see. They’re just a little closer to them.

For now.

Note: This post was inspired by a post by my friend, Pamela Hodges
entitled, My father’s last Christmas.

About Anne Peterson

I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I'm not writing, I'm telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.

33 Replies

  1. I believe this Anne, with all my heart. Sometimes I think those who have gone on before are with us by some mystery. But they are in the everlasting arms of God and don’t lack for anything. Bless you my friend, as you remember your beloved sister at Christmas time. She would be so very, very proud of who you are and the life you have lived, and so honored by your words about her. Have a joyful, peaceful Christmas. xo Kathleen

  2. Anne, I believe every word of this post. I too wrote a post after reading Pamela’s post on her father. My christmas eve is fragile…to say the least.
    Thank you for your lovely words. I like to know that Helen is given a sneak preview by God too. How wonderful!
    Merry Christmas,
    Pxx

  3. My dear friend, Patricia. Isn’t it wonderful to know this community of friends who have experienced similar things? I am thinking of you and Helen today as I miss so many. I listed all the balloons I’d be sending up. A whole bouquet. We send up balloons, they send down love. And I’m sorry you are experiencing some tension on this Christmas. Praying for you.

    1. Dearest Anne, thank you for your prayers. I love you. I told James that you and Pamela were thinking of Helen (& Peggy) as you wrote your posts. This is indeed a wonderful community. My prayers are with you as well. Merry Christmas.

      1. Merry Christmas Patricia and to James as well. Thank you for your prayers.

  4. Anne, I believe this with all my heart. And those who went before are in the everlasting arms of God and they know perfect peace and love. Your sister would be so proud of you and the words you write, and so honored by what you have shared about her. Bless you friend and have a peaceful, joyful Christmas.

  5. Diane

    Thanks for your encouraging words

    1. Diane,
      Thanks for reading, Diane. I find it helps me to embrace how I feel instead of pretending to feel otherwise. First Christmas without my brother Steve. I miss him, but I am glad God knows it. Thinking of you too, Diane.

  6. Such a beautiful and reassuring thought! There is so much we don’t know or fully understand, and that’s as it should be when we try to figure out eternal life and death issues which God holds in His hands. We live with mystery. We also live in hope of resurrection life to come for us and our loved ones. I love your “what if..” ponderings. Knowing God’s heart of love, it seems highly likely that some of these surmises could be true. And that’s a lovely thing to hold on to. Thanks, Anne. May God whisper close and offer you all the peace and comfort you need in this season. Blessings and love 🙂 xx

    1. Joy,

      Thank you so much for reading and for your thoughtful comments. I know God loves to keep things a mystery, and maybe we couldn’t understand these things anyway with our finite minds. Heaven will hold such joy for us. Yes, God is there. The three in one. And loved ones who know Jesus will also be there praising God. But even knowing that, we have no clue as to what heaven holds for us. We are told that this life is like a vapor, but it’s the only thing we know. But one day…one day we will understand fully. We will look through and not be limited in what we see, what we hear. We will know as we are known. One day…

      How thankful I am to God for what he reveals to us. I think we will be thankful when we’re there at the things God kept from us. As a loving Father who protects His children. We will have the veil lifted and see the whole story in more than technicolor. One day…

      And until then, we’ll stumble by faith. Letting God be our strength, our guide, our eyes. Him…whom having not seen we love.

  7. Joan

    Anne, I can’t help but think our loved ones in Heaven are smiling down upon us. When a special occasion happens, I think of my parents who have gone on to be with the Lord. And oh that joyful day when we will be reunited! Pamela’s post inspired me to write about a memory of my own father. http://www.joanhallwrites.com/a-memory-a-skillet-and-christmas-eve/

    Blessings to you, my friend. I’ve been thinking of you this Christmas season.

    1. Joan,

      Thanks for reading and for your comments. I read your post as well.

    1. Thanks for reading, Laura. And for liking it.

  8. Anne, this is absolutely lovely. And very thought-provoking. I’ve never thought of my loved ones in heaven seeing what I see, just from a different vantage. What joy we shall have one day, yes? Wishing you and your family a very blessed Christmas!

    1. Rebeca,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and for your comment. We will have unspeakable joy. God said “Eye has not seen nor ear has not heard the things God has prepared for those who love him.” And then all the pain we did experience here will seem like nothing. Merry Christmas, Rebeca.

  9. Beautiful, heartwarming post, Anne!

    O, the mystery of Life, in what ever form it comes!
    We know only what our eyes see and often not even that. All the other dimensions are out of our reach, of our understanding. We get glimses of other spheres, other lives, in our dreams, when experiencing oneness with the whole cosmos after watching a beatuiful sunset or sunrise, when we remember a loved one who is no longer here, yet we know they are in us and we are in them.

    Not as much with my sister…I left when she was 16 and did not have time to grow a relationship…but with my father, there are so many instances that I feel him right next to me, and even had conversasions with him. He comes in my dreams and warns me about up coming difficulties or crises, inspiring me how to handle them

    Have a wonderful Christmas my friend, with the ones here. Those who’ll be watching, will be very happy for you all!

    1. Katina,

      You’re right. We often do not even know what it is our eyes see. Glimpses often do stir our minds to reflect days of long ago. Memories wrapped up carefully and tucked away for safe-keeping. Sometimes we have memories of loved ones, and as you mentioned, sometimes we have a void because there wasn’t enough time, we didn’t get the chance. Whatever the reason they are not there. I hope your Christmas is wonderful Christmas as well. I appreciate you.

  10. Dennis Turner

    Anne,

    Thank you for sharing the insights of the unlayering of your heart that has been broken by loss.
    We lit a candle on my brother’s grave today as my parents miss him all of the time but especially on such a holiday as Christmas. I will share your “post” with them tomorrow and it will gladden their hearts. One never knows how joy can be inspired when loss is calibrated through the metric of eternity. But, tomorrow your insight will bring joy to an 88 year old father and 85 year old mother and a 66 year old brother. Thank you. For now.

    Dennis Turner/Indiana

    1. Dennis,

      Thank you so much for reading and for your comments. Today will be the first time I can remember I won’t get a call from my brother Steve who died in February of a massive heart attack. Steve was 51. I know there are many who are just trying to get through the day. I pray that they will find comfort in knowing this life is not all there is. Thinking of your family today. If words I write can help others go down this road, I am thankful.

  11. A lovely way to think of those who are not really that far away from us and we will all walk the same path one day. Sometimes I just soak up a sunset and leave the camera in its pouch, so that I don’t miss the miracles of life. Thanks Anne beautiful comforting words merry christmas to you.

    1. Kath,

      Thanks for your kind words. I know what you mean about soaking up the moment. When God comforts us in our hurts, how can we see someone else hurting and not share with him/her? God’s comfort was made to pass on to others. Merry Christmas to you Kath. This will be the first Christmas I can remember without getting a call from Steve. He made it a habit to call each of us to say “Merry Christmas.” Today will be a good day. I have a lot of good memories to reflect on.

    2. Kaye

      I like the concept of leaving the camera in its pouch at times – or letting myself enjoy the moment without thinking about how I can write about it.

      Thanks, Anne, for a good post. I am really enjoying the chance to get to know my fellow Tribe Writers through your writings. Such an encouraging bunch!

      1. Kaye,

        Isn’t it fun to get to know each other? I also enjoy that. This is one of the greatest bunches of people. That’s for sure. Thanks for reading and for your comments, Kaye.

  12. Such a beautiful insight Anne. I will never think of missing those who’ve gone on in the same way again. Thank you.

    1. Audrey,

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  13. What a beautiful piece, Anne! I believe your sister sees and smiles, especially at your perspective this year. I have loved ones in heaven, too. I know they look upon the happenings of my life and I hope they smile more times than not. Maybe their view is like glimpsing through a one-way mirror. They can see us, but right now we can’t see them.

    1. Tracy,
      Thanks so much for reading and for you comments. And it’s funny because for the first time in 45 years I dreamt about my mom about a week ago. And my sister was in the dream. Peggy didn’t say anything to me, but she sat there smiling. Much like I’d like to picture her. My sister was killed in a domestic violence situation. We are reunited with her boys who are now adults. I often think of her smiling when we get together with her sons, or speak with them.

      I love the one way mirror idea. If I thought that were true I’d start sticking out my tongue toward my two brothers. That’s what siblings are for. Thankful I have one brother left.

      1. I’m glad you were given the gift of that dream. It sounds lovely.

        1. Tracy,

          That dream will probably always stay with me. Thanks.

  14. We DO have that wonderful cloud of witnesses; gone on before and blooming gloriously on the other side of the wall. (Hebrews 12: 1)

    1. Yes, that’s the verse I always think about when I think of those who have gone on before me. Thanks for reading.

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