Here it comes again. That lump in my throat. That wet in my eyes. That red in my nose. Not here, not here, I tell myself.
I’m a crier now. I’ve never considered myself a crier before, and no one would’ve ever called me that even a year ago, but grief is grief.
Since recently losing a parent, crying has become a part of my life. Sometimes grief shows up in my tears. Other times, it’s a deep sadness that seems to hijack my feelings when I least expect it. Occasionally, it shows up in my bones, as if I’ve worked out a little too much the day before and I’ve become stiff and slow.
There are days when my heart craves to feel the loss of my mom and settle for a while in missing her. It’s as if I see grief sitting up on a shelf, wrapped in a package with a pretty bow, and I long to open it up and spend time with it. I want to clear the room, pull it down, lay it out, and just roll in it.
But that’s not always reality. Life pushes me to keep moving along, to feel the grief later, to cry later.
However, grief is too powerful an emotion to be left alone. It cries out for attention, and if we keep it at bay for too long, it will soak into us like a sponge, bringing a heaviness into our spirit and causing us to be ineffective and unproductive in our daily activities. It will affect our heart, our relationships, and distract us from our day-to-day lives.
Embracing the God-given gift of grief can help us heal and hope for better days.
The act of grieving is a gift. Our bodies were created with built-in outlets for expressing the deep sorrows we carry with us. Some of us may cry; others will process verbally. Some of us may journal, and others will go for a run. Some of us may seek counsel, while others prostrate themselves down to their knees, alone in prayer.
I’m learning to embrace it. Grieving serves me well when I give in. I’ve learned a few things from spending time with it:
- I’m not the only one walking this road. I’ve met new friends on this path who are suffering a loss, and it’s given me something to have in common with others.
- A good cry can bring a release of pent up frustration and sadness. When I give in to the waves that come, it feels like I’ve been pushed a little closer to the shore, closer to a place of healing.
- My grief has brought me closer to God. I find myself reading and re-reading moments in His Word where Jesus’ emotions were evident. I’m able to identify, even if just a little bit, with the sadness that God must feel when someone He loves is no longer around.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted . . .
Psalms 34:18 (NIV)
We will experience heartbreak, but He will walk it with us. He’s right there when I’m journaling my heart out about my sadness, and He’s right there as I smile over a memory that comes to mind when I think of my mama. He’s in all of it.
So, what if we took note of those around us who are walking through grief just as we are? What if we reached out and held hands and helped each other up after we’ve fallen too far into it? What if when we felt that emotional pull, we took note of it and made sure we tend to it as soon as possible? What if we invited Jesus into our grief — to sit with us, to walk through it with us, and bandage us up when the bleeding gets a little too much to handle on our own?
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
I’m learning to meet grief when it comes knocking, to give it the attention it needs, and then move on with the rest of my day. It’s a part of who I am now, a part of my story that has already served to strengthen bonds with old friends and tie me together with new ones.
So, let’s not to flinch when we see that wave of grief rolling in. It may carry us a little closer to a place of healing, to a place of hope, because grief is truly a gift.
We will experience heartbreak, but He will walk it with us. -Kellie Johnson: Click To Tweet