Many years ago, when I was going to college at Calvin, the wife of one of my professors passed away unexpectedly. Since I personally knew the man, I was saddened by his loss.
When he returned to work, I didn’t know what to say to him. Feeling sadness and remorse, I approached him to tell him how sorry I was for his loss.
As I looked him in the eyes, I fumbled for what to say. But, before I could open my mouth he said, “Its OK.”
Its OK? Its OK? I expected to find a man in total bereavement. But, instead, I found a man with a smile on his face who was at total peace with the world. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he was feeling sorry for me.
Was he in denial? Didn’t he love his wife? Why wasn’t he sad like me?
A couple of years later, the mother of my boss at Calvin passed away unexpectedly. She was in her 50s. So, everyone was shocked.
When he returned to work, I approached him to extend my condolences. And again, not knowing what to say, I fumbled for my words. And again, before I could say anything, he smiled and shook my hand. Then he said “I understand. I’m fine.”
First the professor who lost his wife and then my boss who lost his mother. What was up with these guys? Were they on medication of some sort? Why weren’t they sad?
Recently, I lost my wife. She was way too young to die. And even though I am still madly in love with her, she is no longer with me.
I am very lonely and very saddened at losing the love of my life. But, God has given me an inner peace and strength. And it is this peace and strength that helps me to make it though the sadness of the days and the emptiness of the nights.
So, when others approach me to extend their condolences, I too smile and say “Its OK, I understand.” No, it is not that I don’t care and no, I am not on medication. It is simply because God has filled me with His love and peace.
Now I understand.