Thank you Father for your goodness, for being the rock on which we stand, the keeper of our hearts and hopes. Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Grief is an interesting emotion. It varies with age, life experiences, seasons, our emotional construct, our personalities, and so much more. I think that is why there is no pattern to grieving or right way to grieve. And that is probably why it is hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving. I think the most helpful words to someone who is grieving actually has less to do with what is said, but more the heart behind it, the emotional connection, being able to feel the loss with the person grieving. I think that is what Christ meant about walking in another man’s shoes, doing for others what you would have them do to you. The gift of presence, of heart felt connection is a powerful thing. For some it comes easier than others, but I have noticed those who have already been shaped by grief connect at that level in the face of someone else’s grief, maybe because it brings up memories of their own loss.
Coping is also individual, but entails some form of escape or distraction. For me that is work and music. For the kids it also is music, games and sleeping more. Other than our oldest son, we are also introverts, so we also escape to the quietness of our rooms, finding silence, remembering and thinking is comforting. Socializing is harder and exhausting while grieving. Life seems to stand still, there is an apathy about most things, a slowing, loss of focus and motivation. As you would expect holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries intensify the grief. And then there are just associations that occur randomly in the days that bring back memories, bringing back the grief. My aunt who lost her husband 9 years ago told me she still grieves and thinks about her husband daily, but now she is able to remember more of the joy and good times.
“He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him” Isaiah 53:3. In grieving and in loss, we have a comforter, one who knows our grief, but also who’s grief is much greater and deeper than ours. In grief we can connect with Christ in a greater way. All of us will experience grief at some point in life, and maybe that is God’s way of drawing us nearer to Him, if we are willing.
Christmas will be rough, especially with a number of people in the house grieving in their own way, and maybe in a dysfunctional way. I am looking forward to the time when we can celebrate Theresa, remember the good times, the joy and happiness and when grief takes a back seat.
We pray you have a blessed Christmas season. We also thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.