My heart is heavy, I learned this week two dear friends have lost loved ones. The first news I received was of the passing of a beloved grandmother, my friend of many years having to say goodbye, while explaining death and dying to her own two boys who will undoubtably miss their great-grandmother. There will be sadness and crying as well, but what a legacy to remember. To know the wisdom that has been shared through these generations and memories to last a lifetime. Then, just today I received news from a friend that her brother had not recovered from a recently illness and had passed. I can’t even imagine the loss of a sibling, my prayers go out to her and her family during this time. Many times when we face death, we tend to brace ourselves for the impact of emotions, deflecting them if possible, just to power through the things that must be done. There’s no right way or wrong way to grieve. I don’t have any special knowledge to share or the perfect way to prepare for death, I do know that no matter what, God will be with us always. As a Christian, I sometimes think we get the whole birth and passing emotions tangled up. Both can and should be a celebration of life. We even shed tears at each occasion. When we are born, we are the living, breathing creation of God. God knew us long before our births and when we pass away from this human existence and earthly form our souls will be reunited with our Creator. Heaven rejoices and God welcomes His children home! And for those of us left here on earth, we feel the void and emptiness while weeping at the loss of our beloved.
David writes in Psalm 30:5 “…Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
This is not literal in terms of hours and days, we all grieve differently as well as experience the stages of grief differently. My experience taught me to be patient with myself. I have been to a lot of funerals, lost many individuals close to me and there’s no such thing as getting over it! Death’s grasp was not fully felt until I lost my mother, I was not prepared for the immediate void, it was cruel and painful. That was my initial state of mind. I made it about me, my loss, my pain, my injustice…I went straight to anger mixed with a bit of denial. Once I was able to process the situation I was able to look at things more clearly. (It’s been over seven years and I still feel the sting of losing her.). I am thankful my mom did not suffer, she would have hated being cared for and taken care of. I know she believed and trusted in God and that she is no longer suffering. The point I’m trying to make is…be you, listen to your heart, your voice and take notice of your emotions. Be true to yourself, love yourself. Trust God!
One of my favorite authors writes a lot on the subject of grief, below are a couple of quotes I would like to share with you.
“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” C.S.Lewis, “A Grief Observed”
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” C.S.Lewis, “A Grief Observed”
I have included some references below for grief and grieving.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Friends, (DW & BW) you are in my thoughts and prayers.
The 5 stages of grief and loss are:
1. Denial and isolation
People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.
A Grief Observed by C.S.Lewis
Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change by Dan Moseley