In my 33 years on this earth I have grieved more than my fair share. I have “lost” all my grandparents, some aunts, uncles, high school friends, mentors, my college RA, and my parents. I have experienced many types of loss and can definitely say that each is different.
I think we can all safely assume that most people grieve differently. Because I have dealt with my fair share of grief I would never judge someone for the way they grieve or when the grieve.
When my mom died, almost 12 years ago, it was unexpected. I grieved hard. I cried uncontrollably. I couldn’t sleep. I had regular dreams about her and was, quite frankly, afraid to go to sleep. I had no closure and almost couldn’t function for about a year. 11 months after she passed away we took a trip to visit her family. Nothing spectacular happened on that trip but for whatever reason I was able to get some closure. Maybe it was the fact that I know I will always have that family in my life. When we got back from that trip I was able to sleep through the night for the first time. It was amazing.
When my dad died I didn’t really grieve in the way that I thought I would. It’s not that I didn’t love my dad any less than my mom but his death was expected. We knew it was only a matter of time before he would leave this earth and enter into his heavenly home. I was able to grieve beforehand. I was able to travel to see him. I was able to tie up loose ends with him and express my love and say goodbye. As we walked out of his room Jack said “see you later Papa D”.
That trip was not easy but it was good. When I got the call that he had passed I did cry but it was more of a peaceful cry. My dad is no longer in pain. He is no longer struggling. He is rejoicing.
The grief was so different between my two major losses. I believe that God played a significant role in how I dealt with these experiences. He also provided a multitude of people to love on me and pray for me. I couldn’t have gone through these trials without Him in my life.
It’s definitely healthy to grieve. In whatever way that you grieve know that it’s okay. The grief will come in waves that you will ride like a rollercoaster. Sometimes it will hit you when you least expect it and other times you will feel strong and brave at time you thought you might break.
We never know when our time will come. We don’t know how long we will have our loved ones by our side. I encourage you to express your love to your friends and family. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t leave ends untied. Do your best to live every moment as if its your last and cherish the little things. Make memories and take a lot of pictures-for those may be the only thing left to hold onto someday.
Keep Jesus close so that you will be able to hold onto the promise of “see you later”.
I think this verse speaks wonders to the season that I just overcame. I hope that somehow you too can find hope in your grief-whatever that grief may be. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to heal.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.