I’m not a grief fan, but alas I get to feel this old familiar emotion because our neighbor family whom we deeply love is moving today. It’s a great sadness for my whole family because our families are intricately connected: all of my kids with their kids, my husband totally appreciates his friendship with their dad & their mom & I are soul sisters. We can be in the same room & don’t have to say anything to know the vibe for each other. I seriously hate grief & loss. What really stinks is that there’s no way around grief except through it.
If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a friend who moved, or a lost friendship these are all difficult grief situations & there’s not a person on the planet who gets a free pass from experiencing grief. Maybe grief is part of what it means to love from the heart.
Jesus knew grief from His earthly existence – a man familiar with our sorrows, griefs & sufferings. While I love to celebrate the triumphant & risen King, it seems that my affection for & connection with Jesus deepens when I appreciate that He has walked the grief path before & is walking through grief with us in our various human experiences, even today.
I just learned about the tragic plane accident and death of Dr Myles Munroe, his wife and seven other people who were killed on this plane. My condolences and prayers go out to these families for this awful loss! Dr Munroe was a really amazing man who had very profound wisdom and insights into many areas with practical living as well as fantastic help with leadership. He was a graduate of ORU and was a regal ambassador on many levels (business, politics, faith, leadership, etc) and was a prolific communicator of amazing depths into the Bible.
Let’s be sure to pray not only for his family but also for his church and the communities that are so massively impacted through this awful loss.
I was really sad to learn about Robin Williams’ death & it’s even more tragic to learn that he committed suicide. For my generation, he was a very significant person who made many valuable contributions in the entertainment industry and many other areas. When I learned of his death, I of course thought of all the different roles that he played and only recently learned about his struggle with addiction & depression.
Depression is nasty stuff & we would be wise to be sensitive to people who are struggling in this area. Cliche’ & quickie one-liners don’t usually help people who are depressed. The “snap out of” talk, “pick yourself up by your boot straps”, “it’s all in your mind” along with other band-aid phrases can sometimes be nothing more than vaporous cotton candy, frothy & flimsy. If you know someone who is wrestling with depression, here are a few helpful tips:
be gentle & patient
genuine prayer is always valuable!
giving them some company can sometimes help
If you’re struggling with depression, here are some things that may help:
keep some regular routines: prayer, Bible time, church, going to sleep & waking at normal times
When a person whom we love dies, its kind of a surreal journey & that has certainly been true for me with my dad’s death almost 2 months ago. I’m writing, on occasion, about my thoughts and feelings about his death not to be morbid or to seek for sympathy or attention. Instead, my intent is to help others who may be going through some grief or loss. With that being said, the first few weeks after my dad died were a bit of a whirlwind – lots of activities, people expressing concern, kindness and an overall sense of busy-ness. The last month, however, has seemed to settle down in relation to activities related to my dad’s passing. For me, this has been a more difficult time than when he first died. I find myself frequently remembering cool things about my dad:
when I was 5 years old, he would let me ride on his shoulders when we would go to Israel so that I could see and hear what the tour guides were talking about – helping me experience the Bible in a first hand way
he would make his coffee uber strong & playfully threaten to splatter weak coffee all over the wall – a sentiment with which I find myself in more & more agreement ,)
stopping for ice cream at Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on the way home from church on Sunday nights & he always ordered (and shared with me) jamocha almond fudge 🙂
when I was in junior high, he would come to my basketball games, even though he had absolutely no athletic inclination. Now more than ever, I totally appreciate what this means – watching jr high girls’ basketball can be a genuine labor of love ,)
So if you’re on a journey that includes grief or loss, I pray that you would continue to celebrate the good memories and characteristics of whoever has passed on and I pray that we can both turn to Jesus to carry our griefs and sorrows. After all that’s said and done, Jesus loves us and is walking along this journey with us.
My dad died over this past weekend and it’s been an interesting journey over the last few days with lots of emotions, kind & gentle people along with some rough spots. If you’ve lost someone who is close to you, or have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that have been helpful to me so far:
be gentle with yourself and others: losing someone who is important in your life is hard so being tender and gentle is a necessary counter-point for this hardness
grief is illogical & doesn’t need to be justified: the “why” questions and appropriate answers don’t help, at least not for me up to this point
time versus busy: some people need activity and to be occupied with doing things while others need some space, but too much time or activity can lead to some bad results
presence: what I’ve found helpful is together-ness, someone being present (but not necessarily chatty – smile)
encouragement: let everyone’s encouragement, kind words and supportive efforts come into your heart;
God: involve God at all levels; grief and death are not the times to pull away from God
Are there more things that you’ve found helpful? I’d be keen for your input
Today we had the privilege of meeting some really great & totally fun pre-schoolers, as well as some great moms looking after their babies who we are helping. One of the things that I’m wrestling with is the moms that I’m meeting who have lost babies. The majority of the moms whom I’ve met have lost anywhere from 3-10 babies. When I began to discover this, it simply takes my breath away because I can’t imagine how a mom processes such losses. When you meet the majority of these moms, you wouldn’t know that they’ve endured such tragedies. So as we are now taking a bit of a drive, I’m writing this blog & trying to talk w God about this and to let the Trinity help my heart. I will think & pray for a bit now.