November 22, 2017 @ 9:34 AM by: Blenheim Baptist
I had just given a fitting tribute to my dad, and spoken to family and friends gathered for his funeral. We followed his casket to the hearse. We watched as dad was placed there, and the rear door was closed.
I walked to my car, and sat in the passenger seat (My oldest son was to drive.), and then it happened. I crumbled in a burst of tears. I have come along side hundreds of families to help them through their sadness, but there I mourned as a SON.
Where love is, grief will be. When death comes to our family it truly ‘hits home’. Separation causes a deep sadness of heart. Grieving is hard work; each of us will feel it uniquely. Grief will preoccupy us, rob us of energy, and may cause an inability to focus. We will predictably experience the ‘darker’ days to come; evenings are usually the most difficult time.
Christmas is four weeks away. Traditional celebrations often cause an awkward tussling of emotions. Death heightens feelings of love and feelings of sadness simultaneously; celebrations trigger a similar mixture of emotions.
Have you noticed a ‘tension’ creeping up within you? Can a season of joy co-exist with my season of sadness? “I am not sure how I will handle this.” The sixth Christmas without Dad may be harder than the first. Remember, there is no timeline on mourning and, yes, you are NORMAL.
Permit me to share some observations with you:
- Grief-bursts Reveal LOVE:
“Grieving” is a love word. It is NORMAL to have ‘overwhelming waves’ of grief, often expressed with tears. The Privilege of Love brings us to the Pain of Loss. Let the pain out; this will bring relief within your soul.
- Grief-bursts Are ACCEPTABLE:
Do not be ashamed; it is okay to have tears. That others see your love expressed through sadness is acceptable. It gives our children and grandchildren permission to express sadness, too. We are HUMAN together; we are NOT alone.
- Grief-bursts Could Have A RHYTHM:
A “burst” is usually temporary; it comes and goes. Establishing a rhythm of ‘stepping into our grief and stepping out of our grief’ will be helpful. You may need to adjust the amount of shopping, socializing, or listening to Christmas music. Adjust your expectations; do not feel guilty that you just cannot do it as you have in the past.
It is okay to let others know, “I need to step back just now.” Taking moments alone to have a grief-burst is okay. Extended times of isolation, however, will not help you. Work at the rhythm: stepping in to grief, stepping out of grief.
I believe the encouragement that lifts our hearts comes when life over-shadows even death.
God spoke through His angel, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy…a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11) Christmas is about the CHRIST who is the “God of all comfort”.
I know this Jesus, the One who gives “peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) I commend His peace to you.
“Are you with me?”
Pastor Bill Terris
Blenheim Baptist Church