Too many times I’ve stood on the too bright green, artificial grass mat under the suspended coffin carrying a loved one. Surrounded by dead silence and the others, also suppressing the loss as to not be overcome. Frankly, one time is too many.
Frequently now, I’ve stared at an empty crib with the freshly used whimsical patterned sheet, to only have my husband dissemble it and remove it from beside our bed.
Most recently, I hang up the phone, so thankful for the chance to stay connected but so missing the nearness.
Grief comes in all sorts of ways, bitter ends, tragic losses, distant relations and inevitable change.
Despite the differences, we all experience grief.
It is difficult to write this. To share with you and not yet fully know the answer to my own question. Can God really heal our grief? I continue to grieve and I am not completely over the losses. And I don’t know if I will ever be. And I don’t know if I truly want to be. As if holding on keeps the connection.
And yet, life continues. It doesn’t wait for me to be fully recovered. It moves on, changes don’t change and losses remain.
So, it’s here that I live.
As I look to Scripture for comfort, I am reminded of the story told in the gospel of John, about Lazarus’ death; a dear friend of Jesus.
‘When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in the spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.’ John 11:33-35
This story ensures me that it’s ok to be sad; to cry; to weep. It’s ok to be moved and troubled. That the knowing of the loss and the feeling of the loss and the response to the loss is ok.
In this same story, Jesus asks a question, that has also helped me in my own healing.
‘Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40
And it’s here where my hope lies. My belief in the glory of God.
It’s when I, like Mary in this story, reach out to Jesus and fall at his feet, that I know my story doesn’t end. In prayer and in His Word, I find my comfort and the Comforter is my help.
In my sadness and loneliness and in the emptiness, there is hope.
Hope to love and be loved just as deeply still.