The loss of Julia’s backup drive has been a devastating loss for one reason. It is completely gone and all her writing from the last 10 years along with it!
It is no more. It is irretrievable. I cannot interact with it anymore, and my desire to publish a couple of her books and some of her devotional writing is now seriously compromised, if not completely impossible.
The loss of the backup drive is a good picture of how utterly cut off from Julia I am personally because of her death. Sometimes that separation is so deeply painful, not just because it feels like our one soul life was ripped apart but also, at least partly, because the separation is so absolute.
Some people tell me that I will always have her with me because of my precious memory of her, or because of the changes in my character, or because of living with her, or because of all the things gathered around me in this house that are here because of her. But memories fade. And memories are not Julia, anymore than pictures of Julia are her. To depend on memory is to hope that memory doesn’t fade.
When has that ever been true?
In fact this suggestion that Julia lives on in my memories just causes me to have fear of another loss – that somehow I will forget her voice, the way she said my name, the way she told me how proud she was of me, or that I will forget her beauty and her grace, her tenacity and her grit.
Some people tell me they’re departed spouses are with them, and they talk to them everyday. They say they feel their presence. I cannot say the same thing about Julia. And I have no assurance from God’s Word that she can hear me or communicate with me now that she’s dead, and gone from here.
So, in my aloneness and sometimes loneliness, I call out to God, not Julia. I have God’s word on it that HE will never leave me nor forsake me.
For the Lord loves the justPsalm 37:28 NIV
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
I do have memories of Julia that are vibrant and you might say alive in me. But I have no assurance that she can hear me, and in fact, much of the time I hope she cannot hear my groaning and my confusion. Why should I hope she can hear me in this life on this side of eternity when she already dwells in eternity, in glory, in freedom from all that is broken here?
If Julia and I do share anything in the present time, it must be because we share life in Christ by the Holy Spirit.
I do hope that by the Spirit of God, my spiritually organic connection with her (and all of the spirits of those made righteous who have gone before) is a dynamic that she can feel. As much as I anticipate being with her again there must be an anticipation of reunion in heaven that is even greater. After all, the Lord did say that the angels of heaven rejoice when someone here becomes a believer.
I wonder, are the departed saints helping the Lord Jesus to prepare a place for the rest of us who have yet to come home? Perhaps, they do think about us and their prayers for us then, and perhaps now, are part of the intercession that the Lord is said to be making for all of us in heaven right now.
I have no certain knowledge of those things or anything else that Julia is doing.
Like Enoch who walked with God for a time here on earth and then was no more, Julia is no more here but fully alive and growing in the presence of the Lord in a gloriously good, growing future that he is preparing for all who love him to share with him.
Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.Genesis 5:24 NIV
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV