“Grief is so human, and it hits everyone at one point or another, at least, in their lives. If you love, you will grieve, and that’s just given.”―Kay Redfield Jamison – Psychologist
GRIEF is keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; or painful regret. I used to have a very narrow view of grief as only something one feels after at the death of a loved one. All of us go in an out of the emotions associated with Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Sometimes we don’t go all the way through the grieving process to acceptance. Over the years family members, friends, and church members have passed on. Holiday seasons leave us grappling with grief. We have fond memories, but our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables are different when those we love are no longer with us. Isaiah prophesied of Christ, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” (Isaiah 54:3a) Jesus taught His disciples, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) It is good to know that God not only cares about our grief, but acts to alleviate it.
English musician Oliver Sykes said, “When it comes to the grieving process, we all try to ignore that feeling—but it’s important to grieve. Even if it’s happened for the best, you need to take that moment to feel something.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us there is “a time to mourn and a time to dance,” but too often, we attempt to avoid or skip the grieving and move too quickly into dancing. If we’ve not fully grieved a loss, change, regret, or disappointment…those feelings, and that paralysis don’t just disappear, they are often buried beneath a simulated happiness or a dull sense of nonchalance. We sometimes fear thinking about anything that causes us to feel negative emotions, yet we still want a sense of relief and release. Paul said that Christ, “comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Cor. 1:4) How can Jesus comfort us when we refuse to grieve?