The days after learning that Jennifer had died and my grandmother passed away were a whirlwind of a painful numbness. I felt everything and I felt nothing.

My grandmother’s funeral was December 31. I gave her eulogy. It had to be me. It could only be me. No one loved her, knew her like I did. No one loved me, knew me like she did…processing the loss of her was overwhelming.

I told her story to all the people who came to mourn. And there were so many that came. Family. Some who knew her, but not as well as they could have. Or should have. Some who didn’t know her at all but could have. And should have.

And friends. Wonderful friends. Some had met her just a few times. Most had never met her at all. But all of them loved her because I loved her. And I love them for that. Seeing them as I wept through sharing my grandmother’s life that day kept me upright, kept me focused, kept me going. On that day…but like manna from heaven, that focus, that uprightness wouldn’t last longer than the day…what was coming was more than I would be able to ask them to carry…

One person didn’t come at all. My sister. We haven’t spoken in years. She hadn’t seen or spoken to our grandmother in more years than that. But surely, I thought, surely she would come when she knew our precious grandmother was ill. Okay, so she didn’t come when she was sick, but certainly she would come when grandma died…of course she would come to the funeral…right?

But she didn’t. She didn’t call and she didn’t come. She made her position clear in what she wasn’t saying, in what she wasn’t doing. My only sibling. Gone. By choice.

My grief increased. My pain intensified. I prayed the numbness would take over. I screamed out on the inside, praying not to fall apart on the outside…things were not good.

The days moved into weeks…the pain was constant and was getting worse. I was not doing well. But there was lots to do…

A beautiful wedding to coordinate…busy, busy, busy…clients to take care of…busy, busy, busy…a Bible study to teach…busy, busy, busy…a business trip to New York…busy, busy, busy…

Even through all the busy, busy, busy, I was free-falling. I was in trouble. I felt like I was losing my mind.

It was too much. Too much grief. My grandmother and Jennifer. Gone. Too much sadness. My sister. Gone. Too much pain. All at one time. I couldn’t breathe.

I needed help. Sitting in the airport waiting for flight out of New York, I called. To get help. I left a message. And I prayed.

“Lord, please help me…”

“I will,” He said. “Remember, I am doing something…”

I boarded my flight. I came home. And for the first time in more than five months, I had nothing to do. Nothing big on my calendar. No family health crisis to deal with. No social commitments. Nothing.

I exhaled.

And then I got sick. Stay-in-bed sick. Go-to-the-doctor sick. Take-lots-of-medicine sick.

It would mark the end of a very long season. And the beginning of another.

Because change was coming. Help was on its way.

He was doing something.