We will all suffer loss.
When we are young, everything is new, so our life is full of ‘Hellos’.
‘Hello’ to new experiences, activities and relationships, but as we get older there are turning points where life begins to fill with more ‘Goodbyes’.
Goodbye to health, new experiences, activities and relationships. This can be painful and indeed cause us to grieve.
It's not only grief from the loss of a loved one that affects us, but we may also go through many little ‘griefs’. Loss is a life-long process.
From a mother weaning her baby, her child starting school and leaving home, redundancy, illness, divorce, loss of looks and youth, death of a loved one, pregnancy loss. These are painful times, and grief is necessary for healing.
Grief is not a mental illness; it is a normal response to loss, which will have varying impact on us. Some losses we sustain are severe enough to require professional help.
We will always be unprepared for loss and the effect it has on us, but grief is God’s way to bring healing, and like having a broken leg, healing cannot be rushed. It is a process with many different stages and people go through it differently. The stages may not come one after the other, sometimes they all come all at once, like a tsunami. We will emerge from grief with a different perspective and we won’t be the same.
Psalm 147:3 says God heals the broken hearted and binds up our wounds.
Psalm 23:4b says we have a Good Shepherd who will lead us through the shadow of death (and that is only a shadow) and there is light on the other side.
When we have faith our grief is infused with hope. Jesus knew He had victory over death and we also have that victory. He understands our grief over life’s losses and weeps with us too: John 11:35.
‘If I stoop
Into a dark tremendous sea of cloud, It is but for a time;
I press God’s lamp close to my breast
It’s splendour, soon or late will pierce the gloom; I shall emerge one day.’
‘Paracelsus’ by Robert Browning.