Grief will touch all of us at least once in our lives. None of us handle it the same way and it can last for years. We feel deep loss for several reasons, but the main one is losing a loved one. I don’t know everything about grief, but I know a few things.
The book of Psalms says Jesus is close to the brokenhearted and that He heals them and binds their wounds. In my mind, I see Him nursing us back to health. He cries with us and gives us what we need. His own heart breaks for us, as all of us parents feel when our kids hurt. And like a parent, He knows He can’t go through this pain for us. Thinking of it this way reminds me that He sees me and doesn’t abandon me when I need Him.
When I think about the sadness over lost loved ones, so many emotions come to mind. Sometimes I feel guilt for not being with them enough or not showing outward grief as much as others do. I think I should show it more or hide it more, depending on the day. I feel anger that they are gone when they meant so much to me.
You know what? None of these feelings are wrong. Until I acknowledge them and sift through them to see what is right and what is productive, I can’t move forward. There are periods where I need anger. There really are stages of grief and denying them does me no good. Stuffing them down only makes things worse and makes me bitter.
I have had aha! moments where I literally had to say my feelings out loud to hear how ridiculous they sounded. My brain had accepted them as truth and was in the process of reconciling them and making them fit in with the rest of my thoughts. Once that starts, I have work to do to retrain my brain and convince it of the truth. The truth is that I loved someone and they are no longer here. It is not my fault or God’s fault. I don’t have to feel shame that others handle their sadness different than me. My job now is to find a new normal as I keep their memory alive.
One thing I know that happens after a period of grief is gratitude. Once we are reminded of the fragility of life, we appreciate the days we are given going forward as well as the times we had with someone we lost. We may not feel we had enough time with them, but it has to be enough.
One final fact is that God never meant for us to never stop grieving. If you are in the middle and feel it will never end, keep going. Each day brings something new and brings you closer to a whole heart. While it is true that we will always miss them, we will find joy again. Some days it will feel like we are finally better and other days we will want to curl up on the floor and never leave. We must push through those days and know there is some good ahead. God will never leave us and He will heal us in time.
We can count on it.
Linking with Holley Gerth