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Grief. That one small word has shaped my life in so many ways over the past twenty five years. My life was suddenly shattered when I received the news on October 17, 1992 that my boyfriend drowned. I was young, one month shy of turning 23. Grief was an entirely new world to me. The emotions that I faced varied from day to day and minute to minute. I'd be fine one second and the next I'd have tears streaming down my face. When I woke up in the morning, I hoped that my pain was just a dream but the reality and finalness of Larry's death would again envelope me and I'd be left in tears. Sorrow washed over me like the waves of an ocean. Darkness consumed me. Would there ever be light at the end of the bleak road I was walking down? How would I make it through the final weeks my bachelor's program? Everywhere I turned on campus I would see Larry in my mind. Memories flooded me, leaving grief that hung like a deep fog around my entire being. My life was at a huge stand still. Everyone around me was smiling and excited but I felt like a heavy weight was on every part of my being. It was the gloomiest time of my life.

Twenty five years have passed since that day. I have found light at the end of that painful journey but grief still washes over me from time to time. Sometimes I'll be sitting in church and a song will play and suddenly I'm left in tears. Other times a feeling comes over me and grief again consumes me. It will never be the same but I've learned to treasure the amazing memories I shared with Larry. His legacy is something I will never forget.

Death is not something any of us want to face but it happens on this earth. The promise I continue to hold onto is found in I Thessalonians 4:16-17. It says, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." This is a promise all of us who have faced grief can hold onto. Someday we will see our loved ones again. What a joyous day that will be!

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