Charlie Boy

Dealing with the loss of a loved one.

I am sitting here just after a week of losing our dog Charlie. I have been a little M.I.A from the world as I do not really know how to handle the pain of losing Charlie so tragically.

I have been incredibly blessed that God has blessed me with a wondering and amazing life–one that has not really experienced extreme tragedy in the highest form. I have lost family members over my lifetime. I remember first losing my cousin Natasha to cancer. I was so young that I didn’t truly know how to process that loss…all I remember was seeing those around me mourn her life once she was called to heaven to be with Jesus.

The most painful loss for me after the loss of my cousin was my Abuelo Anselmo. My Abuelo was a hard-working man who raised his family through hard-word and determination–figuring out how to raise his children in the ghetto of Chicago with only a 2nd grade education. When I found out he had cancer, I felt for the first time in my young life, how fragile life is–and even the strongest of people do not have the ability to escape the pains of life. My Abuelo believed in me and he most of all wanted me to fulfill my dreams. See, my dreams of traveling began when my Abuelo was sick. I wanted to go to Africa for a month on a missions trip with some friends from school. The large dreams I had were not diminished by him, but rather he embraced them while funding a large portion of the amount it cost. I will never forget the smile on his face when he told me (in broken English) he could not wait to see the impact I would make in Africa. My Abuelo died before I had the chance tell him how my trip went…but I KNOW this–my Abuelo was with me every second I was in Africa. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his love still translates through my daily life and even though he is not here anymore, I know he is in heaven rejoicing with our King in heaven–NO LONGER SUFFERING with the pains of this world.

To those of you who are reading this right now cannot feel my pain and my hurt, but I know that everyone can relate to the pain and hurt someone feels as they try to deal with the loss of a loved one. Even though Charlie was not on this Earth in human form, he was a significant part of our family. His love was unconditional–despite my constant frustrations with his loud barking and his good taste in shoes. His life was precious to our family and looking back, I wish I could have embraced every moment instead of going through the motions of everyday life. In the midst of David’s new job, mom-life, teaching, and finishing my masters degree, moments of true clarity were hard to come by.

I want to think of Charlie as a martyr. Although his death was accidental, I have to believe he was placed in our lives for a reason. His death brought my little family of four closer together and helped us realize how precious life truly is. So although I still may cry, I have to have faith in knowing that God has a plan. Through life and through death–God ALWAYS has a plan. We need to take a step back and realize that He is working for our good.

Nehemiah 8:10 states, “do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Any of you who are going through a hard time, take a step back, breathe, and understand that it is okay to not be okay–it takes time to process the work Yahweh is doing in our lives. However, you must know that in the end God’s got you. He knows what he is doing.

If you need a song to bring light to your dark days, Danny Gokey’s “You Just Haven’t Seen It Yet” will be the flashlight to light your pathway.

It’s like the brightest sunrise
Waiting on the other side of the darkest night
Don’t ever lose hope, hold on and believe
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet
You’re closer than you think you are
Only moments from the break of dawn
All His promises are just up ahead
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet (oh)
Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet (oh)
Maybe you just haven’t seen it

He had the solution before you had the problem
He sees the best in you when you feel at your worst
So in the questioning, don’t ever doubt His love for you

I hope to see my Charlie boy again one day and I pray that I can live my life each day appreciating every moment that comes my way.

Until next time,

Angie

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