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A Dream




A dream has remained in my heart and mind for over 25 years. As the years have passed it has seemed impossible at times for this desire to come true. However, I continued to pray that God would allow me to achieve this goal. My first need was to find a publisher for my book so I could. When my book was finally published this year I began pursuing this desire.


After my boyfriend, Larry drowned I struggled deeply with pain. Grief is one of those things that everyone has to journey through at their own pace and in their own way. We can't put a time frame on grief. Everyone's journey is different and everyone grieves differently. The hole that grief creates will never totally be forgotten. People just learn to manage the loss in their lives and learn to live with it.


Grieving caused me to pull away from so many people in my life as I tried desperately to manage my pain. Graduate school and life also caused me to lose track of people. The years passed and I thought I'd lost contact with my boyfriend's dad. But I continued praying, asking God to keep him alive so I could give him my book. He had asked for the opportunity to read my book years ago. I ached to fulfill his dream. This spring I finally made contact with his father again and we began planning a way for me to bring the book to him. This summer I finally traveled to his home to deliver the book to him not knowing how things would go. I just knew that I had to make the trip. It was an afternoon in which memories were shared. I was allowed to look at childhood pictures of Larry. Memories I shared in my book were confirmed and I had an opportunity to encourage Larry's dad and point him toward healing and truth. I gave this man a hug when he shared his pain and the hug was eventually reciprocated when I left that evening. Now I have to leave the remainder to God.


After this, I traveled to the cemetery where Larry is buried. I'd never been there. I needed to go. When I entered the cemetery I suddenly realized the enormity of the task at hand. Finding his grave felt as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. There were thousands of graves. How on earth would I find Larry's? I suddenly felt overwhelmed and called a friend explaining my challenge. She began looking on her computer and enlarged the picture of his grave. Then she began to help me locate landmarks. Okay, look for cornfields, and three trees. Finally, she began to help me identify gravestones near Larry's grave. She described the landmarks to me. Look for a marker with this name and with a cross on it. Then she told me another name to look for. By that point, it was dark and the light of my phone wasn't enough to see so I had to leave the cemetery and look for a place to stay for the night. My original plan had been to travel to a different city but it was clear I couldn't leave so I searched for a hotel. All the hotels in the area were closed for the night so I had to find a safe place to park so I could sleep in the car. I finally located a place and pulled out pillows and blankets from my trunk and set my alarm for early the next morning. I settled myself in to sleep for the night. Early the next morning I woke up and quickly got ready. Then I drove to the cemetery. I slowly began my search from one side of the cemetery to the other side. About an hour-and-a-half later, I finally found one of the landmarks my friend and I had talked about the night before. Then I looked over to the right and found the next landmark we had talked about. My heart began racing, that meant that his tombstone was nearby. I backed up to the next row of tombstones and looked down. There was Larry's grave. I'd finally found it. I sat there on his grave for a few minutes as tears filled my eyes. After 28 years I was finally sitting on his grave. My dream had finally come true. I had made it to his grave. I sat there in the graveyard for a couple of hours thankful that God had finally answered my prayers. Before I left the bells of the chapel across from his grave began chiming a hymn. It was peaceful. Finally, I felt close to Larry once again.


My travels weren't over though. My next step was to travel by ferry to Michigan so I could bring my book to Larry's friend who watched him drown. This was another dream I had. I also knew that I had to tap into support from my grief recovery group to provide me with the strength and healing I needed in my journey. Thankfully God provided me with a support system that gave me the help I needed as I proceeded with my journey. I spent hours listening to messages and tapping into support from a grief recovery group that blessed my heart just when I needed it most. This support system gave me the strength and courage to continue with my journey. I spent much of the next day in my hotel recovering and preparing myself for the next phase of my itinerary.


The next day I traveled to the pier. I decided to spend my Sabbath out in nature with God. It was early in the morning when I pulled into the parking lot. As I opened my car door, I noticed tons of coast guards and police in the parking lot. I paid for my parking and was heading to the pier along with a coast guard.


"Did someone drown?" I asked thinking about Larry's death.


"Yes, two people did on Thursday." The coast guard responded.


"Oh, no. Not again. This place can be so dangerous. This is where my boyfriend drowned."


"Yes, so you understand. When did he die?"


I told him and then we parted ways as he and his team searched the coast for the body.


I stood at the gated area of the pier. The police and coast guards were on the other part of the pier and would not let anyone enter. Tears were in my eyes as I remembered what I happened. Two Korean women stood beside me talking.


Eventually, the older Korean woman turned to me and said, "Is your mom okay?"


"It wasn't my mom who died. It was my boyfriend." I replied.


Then we began talking and she told me that two people had drowned on Thursday. The woman had been saved but this woman's husband had drowned. They were searching for his body. Then my heart began aching for this woman who lost her husband. Later that day I gave her my book. We talked for a few minutes and she hugged me. That day I was connected to a stranger through grief and I realized that I was not the only one to lose someone that I loved at that pier. I was not alone.


Grief is a process. The journey takes many winds and turns. But if we follow our grief and allow ourselves to do the things we know we need to do, healing happens. My journey through grief has taken a long time. What I have needed to do has not happened overnight. It has taken years and years. But inside my heart, I knew what I needed to do. I just had to allow things to unfold so that I could begin to find the healing that I needed.


Maybe you are facing grief and sorrow right now. Know you are not alone. Many others have faced grief as well. Hopefully, we can be a beacon of light to you reminding you that you are not alone and pointing you to the hope of finding meaning and light again. Allow yourself to grieve. It will take time. There will be darkness and pain at first but glimmers of light will come again.





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