We Need Permission to Grieve

We have a friend who lost her husband a year ago and she told my husband,

‘I am so tired of people asking me I am doing.”

Perhaps she is in denial.  Perhaps she simply does not know how to respond.  Sometimes we can’t find the words or know how to respond.  Maybe she is afraid of her own emotions and afraid of losing her composer.

Her generation didn’t talk about death.  Too many of them, it’s a practical part of life.  Your loved one was there and now they are not.  End of sentence. End of chapter. Close the book.

I believe our Christian friend is in so much pain she is afraid of it.  I get that. As I’ve said in other posts grief fills every part of your body.  My mother-in-law had a rash all over her body that took six months to clear up.  She had to have a blood transfusion because the doctor felt she must be bleeding somewhere inside.  No scan should any blood loss inside her body. One can physically die of a broken heart.  It is a true health issue.  Think about that.  One can literally die of a broken heart.

But, here is the truth, grieve is not a book.  One can not skip a chapter or read the end of the story first.  Grief is a process.  For some it’s a short journey for others it’s a lifetime. Mine will be a lifetime and that is okay.  I don’t mean bawling all day, not sleeping, constantly thinking of Sommer, I mean to say I will miss her until I am with her in the presence of the King. That’s okay. God will make me stronger. I believe that wholeheartedly. I will become stronger, not better. Grief is not the same as getting over the flu or a cold, it is grief and we must face it.

I can’t wish it away, run from it, or pretend it didn’t happen.  Grief is real and Christians NEED TO GRIEVE!

As the Body of Christ, we have an obligation to help our neighbors. Jesus invested His time, His time with others.  He met them right where they were physical, spiritually,  and emotionally. We all know someone who has lost a loved one. We must minister to them. Nurture them.  Love them because Christ died for them.  Saved and unsaved.

If I can not be allowed to grieve in front of my church family where do I go?

Validate my loss. Validate your loss. Please, please, please validate someone you know who has lost a loved one.

Let’s not pooh-pooh ones grief by giving quick, “Christian correct” responses.

It is better, oh, so, much better to stand alongside me. Try to understand what I am feeling.  You may not get it because your child has not died but mine has and I need to be reminded that is okay to grieve.  It’s okay for me to cry.  We need COMPASSION!

You may think “I don’t know what to say.” or “What if I make her cry, I don’t have time to comfort her.”  That may be the case, but I promise you God will remember.  I am not suggesting you call me every day. I am asking you on behalf of all who mourn don’t forget about us.  I/you/others matter to Christ, why can’t we matter to you?

Be like the good Samaritan.  Reach out to me.  Surround me with strong hugs.  We may grieve but we won’t break form a love filled hug.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan:

Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply, Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers.  They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell int the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

All the emphasis are mine.  This is the NIV translation. You might be wondering why I chose to tell the whole story.  Because it is sad, true, and beautiful.

May God have the Glory!

Blessings,

Heidi

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