I had a conversation yesterday with my very close friend, Barbara Shawn, who is dealing with the recent and sudden loss of her son, David Gildon. As we talked, I realized at some point, we all have to encounter dealing with grief. It’s inevitable and one of those subjects we all need to talk about, but no one wants to.
I asked how she was and felt guilty for even asking because instinctively, I knew the answer. Remarkably, she sounded much better than our last conversation a week ago.
We were discussing the importance of having a support network of people close to you to lean on. It’s essential to be able to release your grief, both verbally and non-verbally. Some days it’s enough to have someone hold you and just let you cry. Other days, you need someone to talk to. When you lose someone you love deeply, you’re dealing with a myriad of emotions; loss, bewilderment, depression and at some point probably anger. It’s difficult to understand why God allowed it to happen and even more difficult to imagine how to go on without their physical presence in your life. Thankfully, Barbara has a very strong faith in Jesus Christ and relies on him to provide her with his peace and comfort. She told me that some days she has to rely on him moment by moment just to get through the day. I told her on the days she felt a little relief, to relish that and not feel guilty for having a brief respite from the pain. Grieving can be a long process and is different for everyone. It takes time to heal – don’t make the mistake of trying to short-circuit the process; this only results in repressed emotions and feelings of grief which can surface years later in anger and depression, leaving you with a scarred heart and an inability to fully experience love.
God can bring healing and comfort in many ways…..often through nature or feeling the warmth of an embrace from a spouse or close friend. During times of grief, these are moments to build on. Moment by moment and grace by grace, God will provide you with the strength and comfort to go on. Let your heart grieve, and let Jesus carry you through the process.
Gradually, as time goes by, you will realize the good days have overtaken the bad and your memories have turned from pain to joy……