Grief is an undeniable pain.
It’s wrapped in extreme heartache, disbelief, confusion and emotional trauma. In my experience, it is one of the toughest things to overcome. It comes without warning or invitation, and it attacks ones physical, mental, and emotional being. There is no mathematical equation and or formula that will help one comprehend grief. Over the course of twelve years, my family and I have suffered from mourning and grieving the loss of our loved ones. However, in late September of 2018, grief for me turned into an unhealthy, suicidal journey.
September 23, 2018, my life took a turn for what I call the worst, my family and I received word that my father was missing. Here I am in church September 23, 2018 pouring my life out to God and my father, the late Cornelius Stewart Sr. is being reported missing. For days my family and I sat in disbelief that my father was missing, it was one of the most disheartening experiences anyone could ever face. September 26,2018 my phone rung only to receive this most horrific news that we had not prepared our minds for. The passing of my father, on that day, I was told that my father had been located but was lifeless (he transitioned).
Not even a year later, after the loss of my grandfather (my father’s father), we were hit with another hard hit. I was an emotional wreck, what we shared as father and daughter was one of the most monumental relationships any girl could have with her father (especially considering that I was what he called, babygirl).
For days, weeks, and months I experienced grief on another level. Losing a parent is a different type of pain. I lost faith, I was angry with God. I, in my mind, hated the church, and I felt forsaken. Out of all the times I needed God, and he came through, the one time I felt that I needed him most I couldn’t hear, see, or fell him I was empty. I pushed so many people away, I guarded my space and my mind was made up, I couldn’t do life without my father. The first man to ever love me genuinely, the first man to hold my hand and promise that he’d never let it go, the first man to instill in me what it meant to be a lady. Suicide was my only option.
One day mid-October I laid in my bed thinking about all the things that he promised me he would be here for. My college graduation, my wedding day, or the day I birthed his grandchild, and I cried uncontrollably. I was in extreme pain. I could literally feel my heart aching. I told myself take the pills, you have nothing else to live for, and I put one in my mouth. I then told myself no one will ever love you like your daddy did, and I took another one, then I told myself that God hated me that much that he had to take my father, and I took another one, three pills down. As I positioned myself to take another pill, after feeding my mind with toxic thoughts, my phone rung and I with tears streaming down my face ignored the call. Even in that sunken place I could still hear God the ‘FATHER’ saying Angel, there is Life after grief. So I picked up my phone and called the number back and there was my pastor Brandon Clack in the middle of preaching, screaming at the phone ‘You Will Not Die’ You Will Not Die’. Him not knowing the state of mind I was in only made me refocus myself back to the ‘ABBA’. He in our most uncomfortable states of desperation will send a sign to remind you of how and why you’re needed.
This has not at all been an easy journey, it has really been hard. I have had to celebrate holidays, birthdays, graduation, and so much more to come without the very person that I expected to always be here. As I approach the one year mark of my fathers transitioning, do understand that I’m not at 100% I’m not even at 75%, but I’m not where I was eleven and a half months ago. And the question I get so consistently is, Angel how are you so strong, and how have you seemingly been able to manage in almost a year. If I could tell anyone anything, it would be ‘’ though your flesh and heart may fail you God is your strength and portion forever.’’. Psalm 73:26 has been a constant reminder that although my flesh is weakened in the memories and constant reminders that I have to continue life without him, God is my STRENGTH, and that allows me to keep pushing.
My pastors Brandon and Cristabel Clack have been an ever-constant source of strength. They have walked this journey out with me hand and hand and has smothered me in love and I’m forever grateful. Word to the wise; get you some leaders that will smother in immense love. Lastly, surround yourself with family and friends that genuinely understand your process and are willing to walk alongside you while sometimes readjusting how or what they feel to help you gain strength in every area of your life.
– Angel Lashelle