Grief…….. Such a small and easy word for such a complex topic. There is nothing small or easy about grief. All of us have experienced it, and all of us will experience it again. It hurts like nothing we have ever before felt. It grips our souls, controls our minds and emotions and demands to be dealt with eventually.
Grief……. The reality that loss is part of living.
As a society, we don’t handle the grief very well. We usually do not give ourselves time to grieve, and we especially don’t give others the time they need to grieve. It is difficult to see people we care about in pain, so we want them to get on with life. When a loved one dies, we spend a couple of days mourning and saying goodbye, then it is over and life should return to normal. When a relationship ends, you can cry a little and eat your pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but only for a day or two. After all, there are other fish in the sea, and that one wasn’t good enough for you anyway. When the children leave the nest and break out on their own, that’s the happiest time for you. You finally have YOUR life back. Only you don’t, and unless you have experienced the loneliness of an empty house, you don’t understand. Difficult medical diagnosis? Let’s pray for a cure, or at least for comfort from pain. Job loss? Pick yourself up and get back out there. You have great skills to offer. Moving? Lose a beloved pet? Broken friendship? Divorce? Betrayed? Disappointed? These all cause a certain degree of grief. Why? Because either we have lost something/someone we loved or we have lost a dream of what could have been or both.
Grief is complicated. It’s not solved with a good cry or a beautiful funeral or your favorite comfort food. It is not healed by time alone. Although all these things might help. Grief is a process, and it is your process.
I have experienced grief in compounded ways over the last 6 months. My mother died. My 15-year job ended. Relationships and friendships changed and some ended. A family member was diagnosed with cancer. And honestly, every time one of my children visit and then return to their home, I feel the loss and loneliness. I have had to make difficult decisions quickly because of these losses. I have needed to shake myself out of the grief sometimes in order to be of service to others and deal with daily life. Yes, I have had well-meaning friends express concern that I am “stuck.” However, I cannot simply bury the grief. It must be dealt with, and it takes whatever time it takes.
My go-to place has been my faith in a loving and good God. Throughout this time, He has pointed me to two particular passages of scripture that I am holding on to with my every being. I share them with you because either you are in a place of grief or someone you love is in a place of grief.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Psalm 37:4-5, 7 – Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
As I have said in previous blogs, I have no idea where this journey will take me. I do know, though, I need only be still, delight myself in a God who made me in his very image and wait patiently for his guidance and love. Because, truly, ALL THINGS work together for GOOD.