PD Series: Stuff & Sales

I wrote this poem shortly after Dave’s mom and dad came over to help us load up and transport our belongings- I could hardly believe it was time to get ready for the multi-family garage sale! Each step like this makes the reality of our transition overseas all the more real.


Onto the trailer, into the car
Boxes and chairs,
What can’t travel far

What weighs most, are
Souls and hearts
We can’t bring afar.

Leading up to the garage sale, I’d been asked often how it feels to be getting rid of our belongings. For both Dave and myself, it feels freeing. We are pretty simple people and personally don’t like having lots of material things. Taking our leftover garage sale items to the thrift store was a huge relief- we gave each other a high five after the last box was handed over 🙂

Although we’re not super attached to our belongings, leading up to the garage sale was still a very emotional time. There’s always more than meets the eye isn’t there? Our home was a mess and didn’t feel like home. And the day Dave’s family came to help us get ready for the garage sale, it hit me hard. Our loved ones were helping us, they were helping us take a step forward to that hard day when we say good-bye. That hard day for all of us. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t making us feel guilty about it in anyway, like we had to choose between them and overseas. No, they were simply helping us. They know G has called us overseas and they know we love them.

But it hit me. As I was setting down a box- I paused and looked outside through our front windows, looking at Dave and his parents arranging the items in the trailer, along with Dave’s older brother and his eldest nephew. Tears filled my eyes. I am going to miss these people. I don’t care about the things, I care about the people. And there are many people I wish I could pack up and take with us. What weighs most right now aren’t the boxes, it’s the future loss of having the people we love nearby.

Time to explain– I’m a Pre-Griever. I can’t tell you what a relief it is to understand this about myself now, because I’ve been having my moments let me tell ya! I learned about this concept of pre and post grievers recently through a book I’d highly recommend to m’s called, “Looming Transitions” by Amy Young.

Looming Transitions by Amy Young - "Starting and Finishing Well In Cross-Cultural Service".

A pre-griever grieves before the loss. The opposite is a post-griever, who grieves after the loss. A pre-griever grieves before the move. A post-griever grieves after the move. Of course we all have bits of both, but predominantly I grieve before loss. For example:

One morning while I was folding laundry in our bedroom, I began to cry as I thought about our bedroom. I was grieving. I love our bedroom- it’s painted a blue color, “Rain” by Sherwin Williams to be exact, with a poster hanging on the wall from the Sylvia Beach Hotel where we honeymooned in Oregon. Cream curtains hang from dark curtain rods, framing our comfortable queen bed we bought together one evening from a mattress store down the street. Memories. And then those large, white, sliding closet doors which never got turned into swinging doors like I had dreamed. Dreams laid to rest.

You probably guessed it- that moment, when I paused and looked out the window at Dave and his family, another moment of grieving. We can’t take our family and friends with us. Relationships will change. We’ll be different, they’ll be different. And while there’s much to celebrate in that and while there’s much to look forward to, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to grieve. To cry to G. To count the cost.

And it’s a tense time- because you haven’t lost anyone or anything yet, but you know it’s coming. So you grieve and at the same time savor what time you have left. I do hope these thoughts help not only other m’s, but those around them who are grieving or will grieve, too– Know how you grieve. Be understanding of others and how they grieve. Go to G in your grief- keep seeds of bitterness, resentment and regret from being planted.

At our garage sale, one of Dave’s aunts came by with our adorable eight-year-old second cousin. After moments of giggling as I pushed her on the big tree swing, she said to me, what seemed to be out of nowhere- “I’m really going to miss you and Dave.” I paused, gave her a push, then began to brush over her words by talking about how we’d see each other in two years, or something along those lines. Then I realized I was not giving her, whether she recognized it or not, the space to grieve the loss she had just acknowledged. After a few more pushes I kindly took my words back and told her with all my heart, “I know, I am going to miss you, too- we both are.”

Know how you grieve. Be understanding of others and how they grieve. Go to G in your grief.

That’s all for now 🙂

In His hands, Sarah Lynn

We want to take this moment to express our gratitude to all of our families and friends who either prayed for the garage sale, hosted the sale, volunteered their time, made donations and/or came by to see us. Thank you for being there for us in your special way, we love you!