Good Monday morning...
… and I am mindful today of the heaviness of grief, anticipated and realized grief. Like with our dear friend, Mary, and her cancer ravaged body… thankfully palliated by hospice care and the deep love of family and friends… my heart is heavy thinking about the end of Mary’s life here on earth and the weight of grief on Bill, her husband, and everyone else who knows and loves Mary. What does one do with this heavy load?
Here are a couple of things that I have learned over the years from grief experts:
First, tell your story. Talking about your loved one and the loss you are experiencing is a good thing. Don’t give up when the receiver is not apt or able to hear your story, move on and find someone who is apt and able to hear your story. You will know the difference, and it’s normal that not everyone is a safe listener… don’t be too hard on them. But telling your story of love and friendship with the dying or deceased is very therapeutic.
As often as possible, turn loneliness into solitude. With every loss there will be painful times of loneliness, but not all of it has to be dark. Sitting quietly with the pain, or wrestling with the anger, take the opportunity to name the strong emotions that are present. Then think about how to best deal with the intruding emotion… ask it to teach you something you need to know.
Find value in the changed or changing relationship. When our dear friend Mary dies, I am going to value the beauty of her character, the strength of her faith, and the season of fun that she and her husband shared with Lisa and me. Her death will not be a total loss, as her life has marked ours for good. Such is the value of people… gifts from God into the lives of their peeps.
Finally, tap into your faith. Trust the Lord with all your heart. Death is part of this life, but it is not the end. The resurrection of Jesus after His death on the cross is a historical fact that gives us hope for life after death. But between now and then (my death or Christ’s return), I have the hope of reuniting with those who have died before me. This hope does not eliminate the pain of loss, but it does put it into perspective.
For His glory,