36 years ago today we were blessed with a son. We were excited we had a girl and a boy. Later in the day he was rushed to our Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Six weeks later he passed away. We never got to bring him home or introduce him to his sister. We held him, kissed him and prayed over him, but for whatever reason he was not to spend his life with us. I never believe God causes things to happen, but allow things to happen so we can grow in Him, learn to fully rely on Him and rest in His strength.
There are years on his birthday I am fine and other times I have a hard time with his death. This is one of those hard years. I am sure you have the same experience. You have lost someone who you were close to a mom, dad, sister or brother. It could be a grandparent or maybe just a close friend. So does it ever get better? How do we handle grief?
Yes, I can say it honestly gets better, but then something happens and a memory is revived and it hurts all over again. It’s good to have those times. It’s good to remember the ones we’ve lost and what they have meant to us. It’s ok to grieve. In Genesis 50 we see Joseph wept and mourned for his father for months. In my Bible notes these are the words written, “When someone close to us dies, we need a long period of time to work through our grief. Crying and sharing our feelings with others helps us recover and move on with life. Allow yourself and others the freedom to grieve over the loss of a loved one, and give yourself time enough to complete the grieving process.” It’s healthy for us.
After a period of grieving (and it will be different for each of us) we must move on. When I have lost a loved one I know I am grieving for myself. The ones we have lost (if they have accepted and loved God) are receiving their eternal reward and they are happy where they are at. We grieve because we know we are going to miss them. If we know our loved ones as well as we should then we also know they would not want us to live a life of grieving, but to move on. I had a friend who before she died told her husband if he found a female friend later on it would be okay. She’d much rather him be happy than lonely for the rest of his life. A few years later I heard that my friend’s husband found an old friend who had lost her husband and they started seeing each other. What a blessing they were for each other.
When we experience death God does not leave us in our grief. God gives us hope. “I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. John 11:25, 26 “ This gives us hope that those we loved are not dead, but live with Christ and is waiting on our homecoming.
Hope means to expect something or to look forward to. Because of what God done which is send His Son to die for our sins, to have final victory over death we can look forward to being with those who have died and gone on before us. Death does not have the final say so.
So while we may grieve or experience grief for a second or third time we have hope. We have hope in God and we have hope that one day we will be all together again. While I may be sad today I can rejoice in knowing our son has grandparents, uncles and many others to surround him in love and to be with him until I get there. That brings me a peace that can’t be explained. .
Something someone shared with me once, “don’t grieve for the loss of life, but instead rejoice in the time you had with them and all the memories you created together.” Yes, we do need our grief, but then we need our rejoicing time. Today I will rejoice and be glad not for his death but for the joy of experiencing his life even if only for six weeks.
If you have lost someone I encourage you to grieve, but don’t stay there. Grieve as long as necessary, then rejoice in the memories and the time you shared. Then remember the hope God gives us; the hope of being together again. Death does not have the final victory. Jesus defeated death and reigns forever.
Dear God: I thank you for our son and the time we shared with him. Thank you for the memories even as brief as they are. Please be with all those who grieve for loved ones. Let them take comfort in knowing You give us hope. Be with them in their time of grief and then give them the strength and courage to move on. Replace their grief with joy knowing someday they will be reunited. Thank you for your victory over death. Because You died we can now live eternally. How awesome are you God for sending your Son so we might live. Thank you for hope, for peace and strength as we travel this difficult world. Amen.