It is so hard to believe we are approaching the end of another year. For me, especially grieving the recent loss of my mother mortality screams so much louder to me
now on the heels of a loss so great. I’m hearing from so many about how the holidays are overshadowed by grief from the death of a loved one. As an only child and caregiver to my mother Mercedes for eleven years, I am missing her as my anchor and safety net in this world. Fifty-six years is a long time with someone; not many relationships represent the impact of a mother-child relationship. I lost my dad at twenty-six; he and I were exceptionally close as well. The world looks very different without the physical presence of each of them in my life, let alone in my next.
It’s hard, and while the world keeps moving forward, when grieving we wonder sometimes in our hearts why is it, we feel as though life is standing still. At times the grief causes us to wonder why others are functioning so normally. After all, don’t they know our world feels as if its crumbling under our feet.
The other night I was journaling and talking to the Lord about how my experiences (spiritual, emotional, and relational) were different between in the death and grief journey of mom vs dad. The grief no less painful – just different pathways, lessons impressions and life-impacts. I am coming to accept and appreciate how normal all the messiness of the process is. No one will escape grief in their lifetime. I can see now how the Lord uses the grief experience to change us – our perspective, our priorities, and even our path in life.
I’m praying for all those grieving into a new year with heavy hearts. For those of us mourning, it doesn’t matter how long ago the loss was the void goes with you no matter what year it is, what city you move to, or job you take. I’m learning how much people are really living under the cloudiness of grief having lost their mothers, children, spouses, and best friends. I see how much pain and suffering so many feel trying to push past their hurt years/decades later. I am not sure healing from grief is the right way to look at it anymore – we learn to adjust – God allows time to lift the intensity. When one loses an arm and gets a prosthetic arm are they still not aware that their real arm is missing? When you lose a loved one there is no thing or person that can replace that void. I’ve read someone say, grief is an outward expression of love. Perhaps focusing on the love is a proper antidote to help with the pain of it all.
It is so important to dispel the myths and misunderstanding about Christians grieving as well. To believe that somehow Christians knowing “the story does not end with death” that the pain is less intense, shorter or that grief should not exist becomes a door to spiritual and emotional confusion. Jesus grieved. Jesus wept. Jesus loved. This way of thinking can paralyze and compromise the grief journey putting unnecessary pressure on our relationship with the Lord moving forward. Listen! Grief is painful; the process takes how long it takes, and we each show up however we show up. Each person is different; each relationship is different; each history is different.
For the grieving I remind you of a few scriptures to cleave to.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Navigating the Messy Maze of Grief
A Live Session
January 6th, 2022