Grief

Death. Grief. Sorrow.

Those aren’t words that any of us like, especially when they involve those closest to us.

I don’t pretend to understand sorrow, though I have experienced it many times. I experienced it when my grandparents died. I experienced it when my own father was in a car accident, and again when my husband’s father lost his battle with cancer, and when my mama’s sister lost the same battle. I experienced it when husband’s grandmother passed on to glory. And I experienced it this week when my family buried not one… but two family members.

I can’t even begin to understand grief. It’s something we work through over time… and there is no time limit to it. Sometimes grief hits us like a tsunami, and it leaves a devastation in its wake that takes a long time to wade through and rebuild. Other times, grief drowns us in waves of memory, and we find ourselves crying in the middle of a busy aisle at Walmart for seemingly “no reason”.

But the tears flow for a reason. There is always a reason.

They flow because our souls feel a loss that can’t be put into words. They flow because we still love. They flow because we have lost part of us… and want that part of us back.

They flow because we are human – and we need each other. The tears flow because we are still alive. They are a sign of life… even in the midst of death.

After the death of his wife, Helen Joy, C.S. Lewis wrote,

“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.

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me.”

I am not a theologian. But I am a believer. And I believe that God is not silent, even when I can’t hear Him. And I believe that God is doing something for me – even when we can’t see Him. And I believe that God is holding me – even when I can’t feel Him.

David said, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
Or – as the Message translation puts it,

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
    through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
    each ache written in your book.”(Psalm 56:8)


Death. Grief. Sorrow.

Inevitable part of life? Yes. But it doesn’t mean we have to like it. 

Lewis wrote, “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”

He’s right. I’m just glad we don’t have to walk through the process alone.

Even if I pass through death-dark ravines,
I will fear no disaster; for you (Adonai) are with me;
your rod and staff reassure me.” (Psalm 23:4)


 

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12 thoughts on “Grief

  1. That Walmart comment. It happened to me last night at my parent’s house. I stepped outside to take garbage to a compost pile and thanked God for the privilege. And the tears came. I won’t get to do that task forever. My mom is gone. My father will go. The house will be sold. I want to treasure every moment in that place. The vacuuming of floors, changing of beds, cleaning commodes. And especially the chance to care for my father.

    This has been a year of grief for me. Somehow I hadn’t expected to have more sorrows with age although I guess it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing your heart. I am sorry for your losses, too Donna.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I lost my Godfather in January and I am losing my father through mental illness. I completely get the crying for no reason. I have done a lot of that in my car lately. It is so comforting to know that no matter how tear streaked I may look or how angry I may be at a situation, God is still willing to hold me-even if I don’t feel it at that moment. Thank you for this moving post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grief has a life of it’s own. that’s what I learned after my first husband died over 30 years ago. ANd subsequent griefs can rip open that wound– unexpectedly. But as Joyce said, being raw to grief also can help us treasure the present. Because we never know when we might lose it. I am sorry for your losses; but understand your grief. But even better–the Lord, who has experienced ALL our pain and sorrow–understands it.

    Liked by 1 person

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