Another year passes, another birthday, another holiday comes and goes without that beloved person. Yesterday was my brother’s birthday. He would have been 53, five years younger than me. I never thought in my lifetime that I would outlive him. And, in fact I’ve outlived all my family members and it grieves me. I ask God, “why?” I was so particularly sad all day yesterday and I believe it was because it finally hit me that he is gone from this life.
I’m not new to dealing with the death of a close relative. If you’ve followed me awhile you know I lost my grandmother, mother, husband and even my father, who was never a part of my life, all within 1-2 years of each other. I’ve definitely had my fair share of grieving.
But, even with all the loss we suffer losing someone close to us, God offers hope. And if you wonder if God cares when we lose people, the answer is emphatically YES. He never wanted our world to be like this. He never intended man to die but by giving us a choice was the only way we would ever really be alive. If He programmed us to love Him, then we would all be computers and robots.
It’s why the death of Jesus means so much. When He sacrificed Himself for mankind, it was to give us the choice to reconcile ourselves back to Him and give us power over sin. We no longer had to fret about leaving our loved ones because when we die in Christ, we will see each other again in Heaven and be reunited. That is the comforting thing that we can hold onto. Death doesn’t have to be permanent.
The way to get through each day without that person is to give to God our grief. He wants us to turn to Him in these times so that He can comfort us to go on until the day comes when He calls us all home. What gives me hope is that one day I’ll see all my lost loved ones again. To come to grips with my loss here on earth is to continually give my sadness to God and cherish all the memories I have.
I’m so grateful for the people I’ve lost as they all left something in me that I carry everyday. I have my grandmother’s tenderness as she was always so upbeat, sweet, humble and kind. I have my mother’s tenacity as she never stopped fighting, I have my 1st husband’s sense of humor as he loved to laugh and make others laugh. I have my brother’s professionalism as he was a terrific businessman.
How Long does it take to get over the Grieving?
That’s hard to say. We are all different and we grieve in our own way. I can say this, take the time you need. Don’t let anyone force you to rush through this process. If you need to take a leave of absence, do it. If you need to talk to a professional, do it. If you need to sell the house you lived in or move to another city or state, do it. One thing I will also add: talk to friends or relatives. Don’t isolate yourself. Turn to your pastor and other church family members. Don’t go through this alone.
This is not a time to be by yourself. Accept the love and prayers others give you. One of my friends recently lost his wife and he is really grieving right now. But, he takes the time to post on Facebook almost everyday as most of us don’t live near him but we reach back with encouraging comments, prayers, cute stickers and I know he appreciates that.
I hadn’t intended to write this post today, but GUIG is not just for me to share my experiences but to also minister to others that have gone through or going through the same things I have. God uses these trials for us to reach out to someone else so that we know none of us is alone. We’re all in this together and together we’ll make it.