Last week I had a terrible case of writer’s block. I could not even complete the posts that I’ve already started. I perceived that it was related to the news of another untimely death. A young woman I have always admired as a consistent achiever. I thought of her sister and the fact that this was the second sibling she has lost this year. Offering words of sympathy just seemed so miniscule. Over the past few months I’ve had to admit “I just don’t know what to say,” once too many times, as I grieved for friends and family facing painful and troubling circumstances and finally it triggered the writer’s block.
…I was too troubled to speak. Psalm 77:4 (b) NIV
Thanks to a conversation with another friend, who has also suffered the loss of a loved one this year, I was reminded that it’s better to express your sympathies imperfectly than wait for the ‘right’ words to say. No one can read your feelings unless you make an effort to somehow let them know that you do care.
As I sat in church on Sunday, listening to a sermon on death, my thoughts once again went back on that family and a poem started running through my mind. I captured it before it ran back out again. (Sorry Pastor, I confess I was not taking notes). So I’ll post it below for all who have lost loved ones and friends. Whether they were young or old, death reminds us of the brevity of life. It leaves a void that not even time can fill, but with God’s help we can move forward, thankful for the time we did have with our loved ones.
If you have you have lost a loved one I will encourage you to:
- Give yourself time to go through the process of grieving.
- Acknowledge what you are feeling and speak to someone. It’s a time of vulnerability so ask God to lead you to the right person to speak to. If you don’t want to express yourself to someone else, express yourself to God. Let the tears flow and remember that even Jesus wept. Do not be afraid to ask God, “why?” Remember that Jesus, who knew He would rise again, in a moment of grief, pain and agony cried out to God asking “Why has thou forsaken me?” God understands our human expressions, He is already fully aware of what we feel inside and only He can reach us in our inner most being where it hurts the most. Never forget that Jesus went through every human temptation and suffered so that He could provide what we need when we cry out to Him.
- If others are depending on you to be the strong one, don’t be ashamed to allow yourself to be weak at times and let God be your strength. He is willing and able.
- Be ready to overlook the blunders of those who may say the wrong things, in their attempt to help you.
- Prepare for the lows. Even after you think you have gotten over, there may be times when the grief returns just as fully as in the beginning, it’s normal. However, if you find you can not get over it speak to your Pastor or a counsellor or someone you can trust with your feelings.
Now to the poem:
Who can understand the Master’s plan,
And why He gave you such a short span.
Gone too soon. Life’s solemn tune.
Blazing sun gives way, to the dimmer moon.
You came, you lived, you loved, you grieved,
In the fabric of many lives you were weaved.
Unforgettable smile, lasted but for a while.
Left us pondering our last mile.
Assignment complete, no need to repeat.
Earth can’t compare with heaven’s golden street.
So we’ll let you fly, soar high above the sky.
Hard to release you, but on God’s strength we’ll rely.
As always and in everything, may God bless and keep you. May He give you comfort, strength and healing in your time of need.
Heavenly Father, some things are just so hard to understand, but we trust You Lord. We know You are touched with the feelings of our infirmity and acquainted with our grief. Have mercy on us all and especially touch and comfort the hearts of those who have lost loved ones and have mercy and send healing to those who are sick. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus name.