More often than not, we treat grief like it’s the plague that we think it is.
What if grief is actually a gift?
I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, and I came across a picture my sister had posted this morning. One of my other sisters had gotten shirt pillows made for Becca and her kids, with old shirts of Harley’s. It’s no surprise that there were a lot of tears shed over the pillows this morning. Even I had to fight back tears as I looked at the picture.
Can I be honest? I found myself breaking down over the loss of my brother-in-law just yesterday. I thought about my sister and her children as they are still trying to work through their new normal without their favorite man. I imagined what it would be like if Evan were to never come home. I can’t even fathom it. What my sister and her children face every day is heartbreaking.
Yes, Evan being gone for deployment is hard. But, I at least have an ending to look forward to.
My sister doesn’t have that.
She has heaven to look to, which she holds onto with each post that she labels with #onedaycloser. As wondrous and hopeful as heaven is, the grief is still there.
The heartache is still there.
The loss is still felt each and every day.
Grief is so hard.
It is mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. The amount of tears it produces is exhausting. It leaves a dip pit in the stomach of the one who is grieving.
But what if grief is necessary?
What if grief is a gift from God?
As painful as grief is, it acts as a beautiful gateway into healing though there seems to be very little beauty in all of it.
Yet, more often than we’d like to admit, we treat grief like it’s the plague that we think it is. We think it shows weakness. We fear it because it means facing the loss that we have endured.
Yet, we forget that the very person we try to model our lives after demonstrated grief. In a simple, two word phrase, we read that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Lazarus, a very dear friend of Jesus, had died. Jesus came to Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, a few days after the death of his friend. We find that before Jesus performed one of the greatest miracles of the Bible, in bringing Lazarus back to life, He wept.
There have been many speculations about why Jesus wept, and I’d have to say I disagree with many of them.
Couldn’t it just be that Jesus was showing us that it’s okay to grieve? Jesus had lost his best friend to death, the very thing that had become a consequence to the separation between He and all of His creation. Yes, Jesus knew He was about to bring Lazarus back to life, but that doesn’t mean He didn’t love Lazarus enough to grieve over his death.
Grief is the perfect transition into new life.
Grief allows us to acknowledge the pain we feel, instead of stuffing it inside and pretending it’s not there. Without the transition of grief, we stay lost in the past and refuse to let ourselves come to terms with the loss.
It is gut-wrenchingly painful, but it is necessary. With each tear shed comes healing. The groaning of our souls comes pouring out, and an opening is made for new life. An opening is made for Christ to heal and demonstrate His perfect love.
Though my sister’s regular posts about missing her husband are heart-breaking and produce a lot of tears, I know she is healing.
She is grieving, and it’s okay.
Where there is grief, life and hope follow.