Grief is hard. It knocks the wind from your very soul. As a Christian we sometimes feel relief in our grief, an end to a loved ones suffering, and yet it still hurts. The loss can be unbearable. As Christians we have God’s promise that the end of this life is not the end of life. There are many ways that people deal with their grief. Some are just broken and can not function. Some put on a false sense of bravado and grieve only in private.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
I have had my share of grief. I have lost so many and there are times when it feels so overwhelming. Other times I feel like I didn’t give myself time to grieve because being helpless to control it, I left it in the background until I had time to deal with it.
From May of 2019 until April of 2020 I lost 3 siblings. It was a tough time and yet I was so busy that I did not stop to grieve. My brother passed and I had a business trip that I was planning for and so I did not mention it to my boss. 2 weeks later my sister passed, the day before my flight. I had to tell my boss because I knew that word would get out. She immediately cancelled my trip and insisted that I take the required time off. It was of course the right thing because I was then able to actually grieve the loss of 2 of my siblings. I was able to talk to others about them and spend some time just dealing with things. Down time for thought, reflection, and remembrance.
Fast forward to March 2020 Covid hit and the world shut down. Work was closed so when my sister passed away I did not tell my boss because I was already off work. I had a conference call every week and I called my assistants and associates each week to check in with them to make sure they were doing well and let them know I was thinking of them. I was already off work so did not feel the need to share my grief with others. I kept it to myself because it was a hard one. It was both relief that the suffering was over for my sister but hurt that I would not see her again.
I have lost other siblings too and it was not easy and I was unable to take time away to heal properly, so the pain was drawn out, it was in bits and pieces, sudden and out of nowhere. A photo, a memory, a post from a family member that brought remembrance. I personally would rather have those moments of pain and remembrance than not to have them. Being the youngest, odds are that you will have more to lose, but God’s promise is always there and that gives me the peace I need in these times of loss and memories.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I know that some deaths hit harder than others. The loss of a parent or child feel insurmountable. When my mother passed away I was a total mess. No one could convince me that this was OK, a part of life, a blessing from pain and an eternal life to celebrate. I just couldn’t function. I let all the pain and anger out on everyone around me. My mother passed away in a different state and there was no way for us all to be together. It would be a few months before my father visited. He was staying at my sisters and I could not go to see him until the third day that he was there. I dropped my daughter off to visit, I didn’t go in. I stayed constantly busy. I made every excuse not to go. Not because I was upset with my father but because I could not bear to see him without my mother. It was like losing her all over again. It was rough, of course I needed to be with him and I survived but it hurt.
Losing my father was also a very rough time. He was living in another state when I got the call that he was not going to be with us much longer. I immediately hopped in the car and drove non-stop for 19 hours. I made it in time but only got to spend minutes with him before he passed, he knew I was there and I was glad I made the trip. I fell apart when my mom passed. I locked everything inside when my dad passed. I stayed in SD until my fathers ashes had been processed then returned home. It would take 7 months for me to take his ashes to the cemetery, after calls from my siblings that I get it taken care of. I finally did, but it was hard. Both of my parents had been ill before they passed but not to the extent that I thought that I would lose them. I thanked God for the chance to see my father before he was gone and for taking the pain and suffering from my mother. Losing them was the hardest thing I have endured in this life. God helps. After all these years there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of my parents or miss them but it no longer physically hurts. The hole in my heart was replaced with God’s promises.
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22
I know from personal experience that if we turn to God in our time of grief that we will find the love that we need to survive the grief. Knowing your loved one is in God’s arms is a gift we can find no where else. It’s necessary to grieve, to feel the loss, the pain of losing someone we love, but knowing that they are with God is a blessing. It heals a part of your heart that nothing else can heal.
We will miss them, love them, ache for them, but still know that they will always be in our heart, that they will always be with God. Heal by knowing that God has got this and get all up In Your Faith by talking to God about the ones you have loved and lost. Sometimes it feels like the memories are so painful, but know that they are in a better place and someday we will be too. In the meantime, live a full, productive, Faith filled life. Honor God and your loved ones by sharing the word of God. Give someone else the gift of everlasting life and love by introducing them to God.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116:15
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