Tag Archives: Grief

A Grief Revisited…

This has been a tough couple of weeks emotionally. May 7th marked the day 4 years ago that my dear friend Alese Coco was ushered into the loving arms of Jesus. The next day was the 3rd Mother’s Day my Sister and I have been without my Mom. This week a dear friend saw his wife ushered into the loving arms of Jesus and on the same evening a gal I knew from The Master’s College was also ushered into the loving arms of Jesus. To top it all off tomorrow will mark 21 years since my Step-Grandfather (PaPa) dropped dead of a heart attack and went home to be with His Saviour and Hero. Around the corner is June when my Mom was ushered into those same Arms of Love.

Grief has has paid an unwelcome and unexpected visit…

These past few years May, June and July have been tough months but going forward it seems they will be tougher. The grief that has now visited the lives of others in close proximity to me is the same grief that I thought I had won over and my heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy because grief steals and shakes your confidence. My heart is heavy because grief is long lasting and ironically never truly dies. My heart is heavy because it doesn’t take much to remember the grief that stopped my life for a time and now it has stopped the lives of others whom I love and care about. The stabbing sensation just above your stomach and below your chest that produces sobs of anguish and emotional upheaval has now made it’s entrance into the hearts of dear friends and I hurt for them.

Thankfully God has constantly reminded me that Jesus wasn’t immune from grief and sorrow. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (ESV emphasis mine). When Lazarus died Jesus wept. The Garden of Gethsemane was no picnic either. Jesus literally bled with grief and sorrow that night. I take comfort in the fact that our Saviour and the one who set the example for us in this race that we call life, did not ignore His grief, condemn His grief or live for His grief.

What a loving and gracious God to send us His Son to set the example that grief is okay and is a part of life here on this broken, messy and jacked up earth. God could have said grief was a sin and then where would be? Instead, He allowed Lazarus to die in order to bring glory to Himself through His Son Jesus’s grief.

I can rest in Jesus, trust Jesus, love Jesus and serve Jesus during my grief knowing that “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV) and knowing that The Father and the Son both grieved over that event.

Thoughts On Grief For 9/11

For the past 7 years September 11th has been a day that has caused many to pause and ponder the fragility of human life. As a nation we have never experienced grief of this magnitude since Pearl Harbor so many decades ago, still fresh in the minds of another generation. One day in the future, people of this generation will tell the next generation why this day was so pivotal in our lives. And, just as our generation did, they won’t understand it until the defining and pivotal moment comes in their lifetime.

What is so fascinating about a day like September 11th is the scale, the comprehensiveness and the universality of the grief it brought about.

First, almost 3,000 people died as a result of the direct attacks that day and over 3,000 more have given their lives in the ensuing war. That makes the total cost in human lives (from America alone) at over 6,000. Imagine for a moment if only two people knew each of the 6,000 people that have died and you have at least 18,000 that have died or were directly affected by those events. But the list doesn’t stop there. Each of those two people have a few friends and pretty soon the number of those who are only 1 person away from the tragedy has grown quite a bit. Add to that the number of people who saw the attacks, and have watched the coffins arrive live on TV and now you have millions of people that witnessed a traumatic life changing event. The scale of grief is overwhelming to think about.

Second, the grief takes on many shapes and fashions. There is the immediate grief caused by the death of a loved one. There is the empathetic grief that others feel toward those that are left behind. There is the fearful grief at the loss of our safety and security. There is the angry grief at the failure of leadership to prevent the attacks and their decision to implicate an innocent nation instead of getting the real bad guys. There is the survivors grief of those who escaped buildings, called in sick, missed flights or had a feeling to take a different route than normal. There is the spiritual grief for those that can’t piece together how a loving and caring God could allow such terrible things to happen to those He says He loves and to their families. There is the guilty grief that wishes they had said “I love you,” or had hugged someone or forgiven someone but never got the chance. There is the intellectual grief that causes people to crunch numbers and count statistics on how it was almost impossible for all the tumblers to fall into place and allow the devil himself to be unleashed. The comprehensiveness of the grief is also overwhelming to think about.

Third, all humans will face grief in its various and insidious forms. It may come in the form of cancer, or a hurricane, or a tornado or a weak levy, but most often it comes from you and me. That’s right everyone, look around, look in a mirror and you will find the main source of grief in all it’s gory glory. Mankind. If we’re not doing something to hurt ourselves, we’re probably doing something to hurt someone else. No one in this life can escape it from the moment they are conscious of themselves to the moment they take their last breath. All have tasted the grip of grief. All are shaped by it, most don’t understand it, some embrace it and few deny it. We all know what it’s like to loose someone, even if it is not death that separates us. Perhaps it’s time, perhaps it’s hurt perhaps it’s distance. Whatever it may be, we have all lost people we cared about. We also have felt the sting of defeat in the midst of a battle. Perhaps it’s a battle with a disease, perhaps it’s a battle with sin, perhaps it’s a battle with God. There is no way to overlook the battles we’ve all lost in one way or another. The universality of grief will always be overwhelming to think about.

So where does that leave us 7 years later?

7 years later we still grieve, 6,000 people are still dead and everyone has been changed by this one event for the rest of their lives here on earth. I can only think of one other event in history that has affected mankind in such a way. It is the eucatasrophe of the cross. Out of the grief, pain, loss and fear that came in the final moments of the cross, there came an event that turned a catasrophic event into a glorious moment of hope and strength for those that needed it the most. The Resurrection. From the rubble of a mountain shaped like a skull came the new, pure and glorified body of the One who had made it all to begin with. Such is the work that only someone like the God of the Bible can do. Only God can take the shattered and torn in heart, the broken and weary in faith, the lonely and grieving in spirit and bring about a sudden and complete reversal that undoes the power of grief and transforms it into joy. And only God can heal those who grieve.