When It “Pains” It Pours-Dealing With Grief Overload–Guest Blog Post by Patty Schulz

In the time frame between December 2015 until just last week, (August 2018) the amount of loss in my world has been totally overwhelming.

It started with two of my elderly uncles who passed away within a week of each other between Christmas and New Year’s. They were both in nursing homes and it wasn’t a shock, but it was certainly stressful for my dad who lost his last two living brothers within a week of each other. Dad is the youngest of nine children and is now down to only one sister and himself living from his family.

A little over two months later, in the beginning of March 2016, my younger brother passed away after struggling with alcoholism for many years. He was only 47 years old at the time and left behind three children, all in their 20’s, to grieve the loss of their father. Not to mention my mom losing her son, my dad losing his son (while he was still grieving the loss of his brothers and my brother), and myself losing our baby brother and third musketeer.

In November of 2016 my husband’s cousin, who was only 21, passed away after a battle with cancer. It was a tragic loss for this young lady to be taken from us so soon. She was a kind, beautiful girl who had so much to live for.

Then, a few months later, I don’t remember the exact date…almost a blur at this point… my husband’s grandpa passed away after a short battle with cancer. Grandpa was in his 90’s but had been healthy as a horse until only a short time before he passed. I remember going to the grocery store and there was grandpa at the self-check-out trying to figure it out. So, his funeral was sometime in 2017 but, like I said, the barrage of death and grieving had become such a blur I don’t actually remember the month.

I’m sorry grandpa.

Last Christmas, my husband’s brother was in the hospital again, after four and a half years of fighting multiple myeloma. Cancer, again. He was in the hospital for a few days and while we were visiting him he let us know that the doctors told him there was nothing else they could do. He would be starting hospice when he got home. He went home a couple of days later and that day we met with a funeral director and made his final arrangements. He was feeling alright and was with us to make all of the decisions. He cried a lot and told us that he didn’t want to die.

We prayed, we cried, we tried to laugh. The next day he passed.

Through all of this I’ve had my girlfriends to talk to, to cry with, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. Unfortunately, I now have to find out what I will do without one of them. Last Friday, August 17, 2018, one of my dear friends and the girl I could talk to about anything, passed away. As I write this I am waiting for her memorial service in a few days.

I don’t know when, or if, this season of grief will end. I know there are some days that seem normal but most do not. But, I do know that through it all God is sovereign. When my brother-in-law passed, the family was there with him and I can’t describe the feeling of peace that was in the house. God was there. God was in control.

One of the people we lost was not saved, and this one hurts the most.

Genesis 18:25 “Will not the Judge of the earth do right?” is my comfort, but I also have a new conviction to share the good news of my Savior…I hope that you will too.

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