Every child of God will experience grief at one point in their life. Grief comes to every one of us when we lose a family member or a parent dies. Grieving is more difficult today because of the impact of the safety precautions in this Pandemic.
As hard as the process of grieving is, it is made much more difficult if one cannot physically share grief with others. Sharing grief by Zoom is hardly as healing as the warm embrace of others. Or sitting in the comfort of home or place of worship with another without fear of catching or giving COVID to the other person.
I, like many people, have somehow managed to move beyond the grief of lost family members. We never quite forget what was lost, yet somehow our hearts manage to adapt. At some point, most of us find a way to step out of the darkness of sorrow and death and move forward into the light of a new day, a new future filled with hope.
There are many ways people deal differently with grief. Kubler-Ross says grief has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Each person does not move through the stages in the same order. Some stages in the grieving process are not experienced by everyone who grieves. In our fast-paced digital world, those who grieve are often not given the time to grieve in their own way or their own time. Here is one example of someone who experienced grief in her own unexpected way.
I have a friend Betty (not her name). She and her sister, Linda (not her name), were very close. Linda was a good wife and mother to her children. Betty was a gifted caregiver, organizer, and cook. Between the sisters who were both devoted to their parents, Betty took care of the personal and day-to-day needs of her parents until they died. Betty was in charge of probating their wills and handling the disposition of the contents of their parents’ home.
After both parents had died, Betty and Linda worked together over a few years to divide the furnishings of the home and to dispose of the remaining contents of the home except for one area-the master bedroom closet. It was full of their mother’s clothes. Her dresses, sweaters, shawls, blouses, and shoes. Despite Betty’s repeated requests for Linda to join her to deal with their mother’s clothes, Linda never agreed to do so. Over the years when Betty and Linda were together at the house Linda never found the time to take care of this one last important task.
The time had come for the house to be sold. Betty had given up on Linda. She had to just take care it on her own without Linda’s help.
Before the closing date on the sale of the home, Betty and Linda were at the residence one last time. Linda left the room and came back in a few minutes with tears flowing down her face. Betty said, “Linda, what on Earth is wrong?” In reply, Linda exclaimed, “Where are Mother’s clothes?” Betty said, “I gave them to charity so that someone in need could use them.” Linda responded, “How could you have done that?” Betty replied, “I didn’t know you cared. I have been asking you for years to go through them with me. You always refused.” Linda said, “I did care. You never noticed that every time I met you at the house I left you for a few minutes. On those occasions, I opened the door to Mother’s clothes closet. I closed the door behind me. In the darkness, I was able to smell Mom. Even though Mom was dead, I visited her in that closet. I felt her presence, her light, and her love.”
Being in her mother’s closet Linda found a way to embrace her mother’s death. To be present with her for a few minutes. That was Linda’s way to grieve for the death of her mother.
God has spoken to us in Scripture as to how to manage grief.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in prayer, please be with me when my grief is clothed in darkness and sorrow.
God, as each day passes please comfort me as only You can.
God, please help me to be present with others who grieve and to listen and have them share their emotional pain in their own way and in their own time.
God, please grant me the courage and strength to accept the loss of the one I loved.
God, my Savior and Redeemer, at the end of my grieving days on Earth, I have faith that Your light will pierce the darkness. Your love will deliver me and those I’ve lost to Heaven-the final resting place where all grieving truly ends and eternal life begins with You and in You forever and ever. Amen
If you like this prayer, please share.
If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click on here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.