My husband and I have had many conversations about grieving. Most have been quite short because we find the grieving process to be a mystery. Not that we each haven’t gone through it. Phil’s dad died when he was twelve years old, his mom died in 2001 and my dad died the day after my birthday in 2007. There were three things about grieving that surprised us the most:

  • We were amazed by the sense of nothingness – someone has departed from this world and there is now nothing where there used to be something. Someone, actually; but now an emptiness, a void.
  • We were shocked by the deep, deep sadness. It’s a persisting sadness, and sometimes an elusive one – just when you think you’re feeling better the sadness takes you by surprise once again.
  • We were shaken by the sense that our foundation had been fractured. I don’ t mean our foundation in Christ; that remained unaffected. Even though I was an adult and hadn’t depended on my dad for anything for nearly thirty years, he had always been there, and at some subconscious level that gave me comfort. When he was gone, that sense of someone having my back was gone. Please understand that I don’t in any way mean to demean my husband in this. Of course, he has my back, but he understands, perhaps better than I because both his parents are gone now, that when we lose a parent, a significant structure in our life is torn down. Something that had always been a fact in my life was no longer real and true.

One of the things that helped me through my grieving was reading about the grieving process. It helped me to know that what I was experiencing was normal and I really wasn’t losing my mind (because some days it truly felt like I was).

Here is an excellent article on grieving that appeared in Discipleship Journal.

It’s first point is one I so appreciate – that grieving cannot be rushed because until we have gone through a full year, we have not experienced all the seasons, each with its unique memories of our loved ones. Further, the article explains why grieving is never fully complete because until we have lived through later life experiences, we cannot fully know the loss of not having our loved one with us.

Take the time to read it. And take time to grieve. It in no way dishonors God and in many ways honors your lost loved one.

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