The pain of watching someone leave the earth can render you helpless. Helpless because there is now the recognition and realization that at any given moment, the next breath that they take could be their last, and there is nothing you can do to change that.
The emotional rollercoaster of wanting to ‘be there,’ and yet remain sane and collected is draining. Trying to ‘stay upbeat’ and appropriately ‘positive‘ while everyone around you is in a clouded and somber mood is challenging to say the very least. Choosing the rights words of comfort and consolation to speak and share with the one slowly departing — is there a thesaurus or dictionary for that?
- Have you experienced the loss of someone you treasured?
- How did you handle your grief?
- To whom did you call upon?
I have had very close family members go ahead of me into Paradise. GOD has been kind to me, in that I was able to prepare (sort of) for their actual departure. Knowing that they were ultimately going to cease being present in my life on earth did not make the process easier. But it did help me to deal with the forthcoming absence in a productive manner.
‘Slow grief’ (as I call it) — experiencing death with the dying is no less painful. It’s still grief. Your own heart still races when you step away for just a brief moment to run to the bathroom or to take in a nap or snack on a meal. You are fearful that you’ll ‘miss out’ on a possible farewell glance, smile or touch. Yes, you want to freeze frame and stop the world from spinning — just to have one more minute.
Jesus wept. John 11:35
Imagine that — the Son of GOD, the very Creator of the Universe — felt grief. Whether it was because He knew that this was the penalty of sin (returning to dust), or because He and Lazarus were such intimate friends. Jesus’ eyes welled up in tears — just as imperfect everyday human eyes do when overcome with emotion — the Perfect One cried. And Sister, He cried out loud. Some Bible translations say Jesus groaned. At that moment, He felt what you and I have felt in all those same instances. It’s likely His heart was breaking into a million shattered pieces. He could have had a flood of fond memories and remembrance of happy times spent with Lazarus just filling his mind. When I read about how Jesus Himself felt sorrow when his friend Lazarus died, in those same two words I hear the hope He wants me to behold.
In the flesh, the Son of GOD had emotions and feelings — He demonstrated tremendous compassion not just in the comforting of Mary and Martha at their loss, but in the power of knowing that He Himself would confront sin face to face on that old rugged cross at Calvary. It is sin that takes this mortal body to the grave before it can be fully and completely restored in Paradise. On that awesome day, He restored Lazarus in demonstration of what He will do for us who trust in Him.
Just before I started writing this, I received a text that a dear friend of mine is watching her son slowly live out his last few days on earth. It brings me to tears to think about her present situation — no mother wants to bury her child. And while he will no longer suffer the ravages of his illness, and the struggle to survive will come to a close, I know that her heart is aching. And so does Jesus.
Because He also wept.
So many of us prayed for his healing. GOD chose to heal by taking him Home.
If you are going through this grieving process, Girlfriend, please remember that GOD knows your pain — the intensity, the numbness, the emptiness, the absence, the loneliness, the sleepless nights, the isolation, the silence — all of it.
He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isaiah 53:3a MEV
Please reach up and out. Reach and raise up your hurts and agony to The Lord Who hears you and loves you. Say whatever is on your heart — don’t hold back, He’s a BIG GOD and can take whatever you give Him. You don’t have to use Hallmark words or King James language — just go for it. It doesn’t have to be pretty and proper — don’t tame and edit it. There’s no first draft and final revision — He knows and sees those thoughts swirling around in that soup of raw emotions and He wants to hear it all and have it all. You don’t have to be dressed nicely and kneeling as you pray — just pray.
Cry if you want to. He will cry with you. He loves you that much.
- What has been the most memorable act that someone showered upon you when you were grief stricken?
- How did it make a difference for you?
Then when you’re ready, reach out — to friends, extended family — those who genuinely care and who can help you stand up again. Let them do for you. Yes, allow GOD to bless you with acts of kindness that are intentionally designed to express love and concern. However long it takes, just be sure to let them into your sphere. You will need a few soft and tender shoulders to lean and cry upon. It’s part of the restoration package.
Keep a journal of your thoughts and journey to wholeness. It’s a great place to privately capture your late night words and put them to rest.
We all have our own timelines when it comes to dealing with waving a ‘see you later’ to someone so near and dear to us. So take your time. But don’t stay there. Eventually your mourning will transform and open up to a new morning. As difficult and impossible as it may seem, life will be beckoning you to rejoin the living and to impact those coming up behind you.
It is my deepest desire to wrap my arms around you if you are in this place of sorrow at this moment. If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and lover of your soul, you have the hope within you. But you must still allow yourself the space to grieve just as anyone else.
If you do not know this hope of the Risen Christ, I urge you to first reconcile your soul with the GOD Who came just for you — and gave it all. Just. For. You.
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16 AMPC
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~