Earlier this week, my childhood friend’s spouse died after a lengthy illness. In support of my friend and his family, I share the following verses written by H. Norman Wright, licensed marriage, family and child therapist, and director of Christian Marriage Enrichment.
The world is full of faces: some familiar, some unfamiliar. Many are constant companions. They belong to those closest to us -a friend, a parent, a grandmother, a spouse, or a child. But one day a face is missing. Its presence is no longer there. There’s an empty spot, but not for long. A new face emerges to take its place. It’s unfamiliar and unfriendly. It’s the face of grief.
Grief-What do you know about this experience? We use the word so easily. It’s the state we’re in when we’ve lost a loved one. It’s an inward look. You’ve been called into the house of mourning. It’s not a comfortable place. It’s not where you want to reside, but for a time, longer than you wish, you will. Often it will hurt, confuse, upset and frightens you. It’s described as intense emotional suffering or even acute sorrow.
In grief, the bottom falls out of your world. The solid footing you had yesterday is gone. It feels more like a floorboard tilting or soft, pliable mud with each step you take. The stability of yesterday’s emotions has given way to feelings that are so raw and fragile that you think you’re losing your mind. We feel alone with it, yet we’re not, for Jesus himself was there, “a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief” (Isa. 53.3 TLB).
Mourning is the second part of the experience. This is the process where grief is expressed. It’s a natural, God-given process of recovery. It’s his gift to us to help us get through the pain. Everyone has grief, but mourning is a choice. You cannot make your grief better, make it go away, fix it, or just “get over it.”
Grief is a journey that moves across valleys and mountains, the arid desert with an occasional oasis. Each part of this journey can only be accomplished by moving through it. It’s slow, one step at a time, and you’ll hit bottom. And you’re not always sure where you’re going to end up, or where the journey’s end.
Grief brings you into the world of the unknown,