How does one ever prepare for loss? I tried and you can’t. I remember when I found out my mom had cancer, I determined to start my grief process before she even passed. Setting up counseling appointments to guarantee less pain, thinking I could bypass what was coming. I loved her so much.
What I hate about death is that the relationship with the one you love is finished on this side of heaven. There is no more time to get things right, to make up for missed opportunities. To say everything you wanted to say, but never did. And in missing them, we feel like we missed out. I’ll just say it…we feel “ripped off”.
Isaiah felt that when King Uzziah died. The king he loved, the king he served, the king he admired was now gone. It was a time of great loss and ended up being a time of great gain. Why? Because “in the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord!” Isaiah 6. And in seeing the Lord, he saw himself. That was quite a year grieving the king…to “woe is me” to fulfilling his prophetic destiny.
When we lose those deeply woven into the tapestry of our life, we can’t help but feel unraveled. It changes us.
The thing about grief is you can try to avoid it, medicate it, or escape it…you can go around it or above it. But the only way out is to go through it. Because grief waits for us.
When I lost my parents in “89”. I lost a part of myself. They say… “when you lose a child you lose a part of your future. When you lose a spouse, you lose a part of your present and when you lose a parent you lose a part of your past”. When I needed God the most, I pushed Him away. And I got stuck. I got stuck in grief. Because present grief has a way of drawing on past grief…and I had a lot.
Aren’t you glad that God understands us? That even when we don’t have a firm grip on Him, He has one on us. That’s why I love Him so!
I can picture Jesus, standing on the mount, looking out on the crowd. Seeing the faces of those who knew what it meant to lose somebody. “The Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” speaking the promise to those who mourn… “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”. Mat. 5:4.
What He was saying was to be comforted, we must allow ourselves to mourn. One of the definitions of mourning is, “to remember”. To have times to sit in our sadness and cry. It’s rarely planned but always needed. Memories can come to us when least expected. It can happen while driving in our car, listening to a song, or looking at pictures. Many things can trigger memories and it can catch us off guard, but those are the times we need to pull over, sing the song and hold on to our snapshots. Those are the times we need to find a bathroom that locks, grab a wad of toilet paper to cover our sobs. Those are the times we find God. That’s when we realize we’re not alone because the Comforter has come…
*These last few years, so many have experienced the loss of loved ones. My prayer for you is that you feel God’s love and comfort beyond words. I’m so aware that there are no guarantees in this life, may we make the most of every moment.