My last question was asked by Jeanine Byers of the Hallmark Christmas Life blog; “How do you – meaning you, personally – navigate ongoing grief and loss?”
Such a good question that has needed time to meld in my mind before responding. And I have prayed about the best way to do so.
Grief has been compared to waves that come and go, a roller coaster with highs and scary lows, or a journey that takes you places you never wanted to go. All are excellent comparisons. The thing is I have personally felt every one.
The waves of the sea are said to come in sets of 7. And the stages of grief are also said to be 7. Just as the waves vary depending on the wind above the waters surface, so too does my grief vary based on the winds of my emotions. Some days all is calm, other days the wind is violent and difficult to navigate through.
Jeanine watched a movie where the end hit her hard. I call those “rogue waves” that hit out of no where. She didn’t see it coming so the affects it had on her were greater.
Movies and music provide touchstones (parts that connect to you on an emotional level or shared experience). I’ve found when this happens the best thing to do is like a big wave—roll with it. It won’t last and it may be that my tears have been building and need release.
However, I have to guard my mind when it happens. Or I get on the emotional roller coaster that leads no where.
The grief I have experienced recently has left me sad. My brother died of Covid, but God determined the day he would take his last breath. This gives me peace because God is in control, I can trust Him.
Life is a journey and God has chosen an exit for each of us. He would that all of us believe in Jesus Christ for this is the door to eternal joy.
I have hope as a Christian knowing I will see my brother and my parents again one day in Heaven. My parents were both older (Mom 90 and Dad 81). My brother was only 66. He had so much ahead of him he hadn’t experienced yet. And that would be sad if this life was all there is. My belief in Heaven has made all the difference. He is experiencing a level of life now that I can only dream of.
I highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. He has spent his life studying and forming a theology of Heaven that is compelling.
This is how I process ongoing grief, but everyone is different.
The best thing to do is to listen to those who are grieving. I’ve heard cliches are not helpful and I’ve found this to be so true for me. Just be present and let your grieving friend share. We don’t ever move on from the loss we’ve experienced, but we do move forward, some faster than others.
A good friend is there for the ride—whether it’s rolling waves, scary coasters or long road trips—whatever is needed.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 17:17 ESV
This is my 27th post in The Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in November.