Have you ever thought about the word ‘aftermath’ and actually looked up the definition? That word came to me this morning of this new day after my Uncle’s funeral service.
A cold front blew in yesterday during the service and it is chilly today. I am now emotionally exhausted after the last 2 days. What comes now is the real hard part I imagine. That is what people say. We are in the aftermath of this terrible, awful event and now that the service is complete we have to find the ‘new normal.’ I think I really dislike that word, normal. What is normalcy?
I do not want to talk about normal because it does not exist, I do not think, but I do want to talk about aftermath. Have you ever looked it up? I just did:
1. a second-growth crop —called also rowen
2: consequence, result <stricken with guilt as an aftermath of the accident>
3: the period immediately following a usually ruinous event <in the aftermath of the war>
Origins: Aftermath dates to the late 1400s and was originally an agricultural term. Its two parts are transparent—but only if you’re familiar with an ancient word math that is now used only in British dialectal English and that means “a mowing of a grass or hay crop” and also refers to the crop that is gathered. The original aftermath came, of course, after the math: it was historically the crop of (usually) grass cut, grazed, or plowed under after the first crop of the season from the same soil. It wasn’t until the mid-late 1600s that aftermath developed its other meanings, both of which are now far more common than the first.
Synonyms: aftereffect, effect, backwash, child, conclusion, consequence, corollary, development, fate, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, precipitate, product, result, resultant, sequel, sequence, upshot
Related Words: ramification; denouement (also dénouement), echo, implication, repercussion; afterclap, afterglow, aftershock; blowback, by-product, fallout, offshoot, ripple, side effect (alsoside reaction), spin-off
1. something that results or follows from an event, especially one of adisastrous or unfortunate nature; consequence: the aftermath of war; the aftermath of the flood.
2. a new growth of grass following one or more mowings, which may begrazed, mowed, or plowed under.
Origins: 1515-25; after + math a mowing, Old English mǣth; cognate with Old HighGerman mād (German Mahd); akin to mow1
Synonyms: outcome, result, upshot.
Is that not interesting? Two completely different meanings. I only ever thought of it in a negative light. I never knew about the agricultural derivation. There are two sides to every coin and this word has two sides. Well, really, it is like a coin spinning on the counter like a top. This life, this world, and everything in/on it is continuously revolving and evolving. Life keeps going whether you move your feet or not. The plants keep growing and changing with every season just like us. Everything comes full circle on their own timelines. You cut the grass, gather the crop, and it grows back anew with new life. That crop feeds the stock. With fire or torrential storms comes new growth. With death comes birth. That is the light and the life. Look at the synonyms in the Merriam Webster definition: child, fruit, outgrowth. AHA moment.
I have been struggling with the why and the questions without answers (I admit most of my prayers have been for my Aunt and Cousins). The why does not matter and the answers are not there. That is for God. We must however, look for Him, His light, and His will in all things. I do not believe that God wanted my Uncle to die in this way. I do believe that it was not my Uncle that did that. He was sick and not in his right mind. He was not treating his illness. I do believe that God was there with my Uncle at all times. He could not see Him there with him.
How can we see the good that can come out of this? He was a man of God. This I know with all my heart. He was a CPA in both his career and in his faith. He was a Certified Public Accountant. He was also certified by God, Public in his faith, and gave his personal Account of God (I took that part from the service, and it is all true). We will never know, in this realm, why this happened. I know he is survived by his siblings, his wife, his three children, and his three grandchildren. There has been new life. Those babies. AHA moment. We must all be certified by God, public in our faith, and tell our account for the children. Children are resilient and and have full faith and trust. We need to learn to be like that as the adult children of God and show the kids the right path. He is our Faithful Father. Trust in Him and leave our burdens with Him. We all have so little understanding and this earthly life, however hard, is short.
This story, however hard, can also save somebody’s life. It is not a dirty secret to be kept in a closet next to that itchy sweater your cousin once removed knitted for you that your mother makes you wear and you wish you could burn. It must be told to those worthy of hearing. You never know who is currently or has dealt with this exact same thing and has felt alone. No person is alone here and we all have a story. We all have more in common than anyone wants to believe. Be proud of who you are where you come from. It makes you who you are. We are all divinely and uniquely made in HIS vision.
Please share your story.
Harvest the crop and fruit from the bad and grow the new life into good.
Lead with love, dear readers. LOVE.