This was the question posed in week one of the Griefshare workbook this week. I sighed shortly in response as I re-read it. “What is it like to live with grief?” I don't think there's enough paper in the world to hold the answer. It is tremendous. It is unpredictable. It is overwhelming. It is humbling. And it is a continual mental vollying of the wordly vs. the eternal.
The pain and ache of grief is constant. With each passing day it becomes harder and harder, in some respects. Physically, you look fine to others. Two months have gone by and other people have moved on. They are not daily reminded of your loss. They don't, and can't, fathom the precarious nature of your emotional state. The inside just simply doesn't match the outside. And unfortunately, they don't see the inside.
I think that's what's so difficult about grief. We live in a society that doesn't acknowledge it. We are expected to “pony up” and get over it. Grief is given a time frame. It's even given a “this is what it should look like” attitude. There's a code of conduct to be adhered to. Yet I find it interesting what the Bible says in the book of Job in regard to grief. Job and his friends tear their robes, sprinkle dust on their heads, sit in ashes, and weep aloud. These are all outward expressions of grief, obvious manifestations of their sorrow.
No one chooses grief. Grief chooses you. I don't want to identify with grief, but since I don't have a choice, then I sure as heck want others to know that grief is here. It's not that misery loves company, but I want others to be aware of my sorrow. Not so that I can wallow in grief or to gain sympathy, but so that others will acknowledge our unimaginable loss. There is comfort in “shared” grief, in the bearing of one another's burdens.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
Grief is a constant companion, an uninvited guest in our lives right now. However, I am reminded that joy will come again. Now is our time of sorrow (John 16:22), but we also remember that God has been good to us. We have been abundantly provided for during this time of loss, and we have a new reason now to long for eternity, for that life with Christ. We not only will see Christ face to face, but we will see our beloved son Matt, our firstborn, our teenager, our 16 year old who is waiting for us in heaven.