A Good Perspective on Grief

I am no expert on grief, but I have seen enough and faced enough personally to know that it is one of life’s most difficult tasks. Thankfully, I have never had to give up a child or mate, but many have. I can only imagine how agonizing that experience must be.

I am reminded of Jacob when he was cruelly deceived to think that his son, Joseph, had been killed. The Bible says, “He tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.” He went on to say, “I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning” (Genesis 37:34, 35).

Further, who is not touched when reading David’s words of grief when he learned that his son, Absalom, had been killed? We can feel his broken heart as he cries, “O my son Absalom- my son, my son Absalom- if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33).

But as difficult and life changing as death is, there comes a time when we must move forward with our own lives. It will take time- - and it is not easy- - but with God’s help it is a conscious choice that we have to make. Recently, I ran across these words from Kenneth Joines that beautifully illustrate this point.

Mr. Joines lost his wife and was later was able to express these feelings about his choice. “This year was the second anniversary without her. I have decided I have two choices: I can shed tears because she is gone, or I can smile because she lived. I can cry because of what she took away, or I can open my eyes and see what all she has left. My heart can be empty because she is not here or it can be full because of what we shared. I can turn my back on tomorrow and try to relive yesterday, or I can be happy today because of yesterday. I can close my mind, be empty and look back, or do what I think she would want: smile, open my eyes, love and go forward. In each case, I choose the latter.”

Finally, never forget that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). In short, He will see us through anything!