In the short three weeks since I lost the most precious piece of my heart I have learned a bit about grieving. I have learned that it’s a long road and it changes daily. That no one grieves the same and that it can creep up on you at any moment. But I couldn’t have explained it as well as Pastor Bob Guffey Jr:
Grief Has No Rules: Some Sentences about Grief
Robert W Guffey Jr
April 20, 2016
I wrote these sentences to share in closing at a funeral recently and was asked to pass them along. You’ve likely heard something like this but, if you are like me, reminders are helpful. Grace and peace,
As you go from this place, please remember that grief has no rules, and that is okay. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. You will read about cycles of grief and phases of grief, but, in practical reality, there are no rules. That is the truth. There are many different feelings that will pass through you, some more intense than others, but just because you have felt one way for a while, then feel a change that prompts you to think, “Oh good, I am done with that,” do not be surprised when, on her birthday, or yours, five years from now, you feel odd and unsettled. Just as you wonder what is going on with you, your soul will remind you – “Oh, yes. Hello, Grief.” Grief will be, as one of my pastor-friends wrote in the season after both our mothers had died, your “most unexpected companion.”
Grief is real and a sign of love. Most of us do not grieve those we have not loved. Because that is true, perhaps we can see grief as a gift as it reminds us, sometimes gently, sometimes fiercely, of love.
Grief, because it is a sign of love, can become a cause for gratitude for it prompts us to remember what was best about the person’s life and to thank God that her life continues in manifold ways in God and in those who loved her.
Grief can become a way we honor those we have lost. Doing the hard work of grieving and not running from it is a way of saying the person mattered, the loss matters, and our desire to heal matters, too.
Grief tells us we are human, but being human is who God created us to be – and only a little lower than the angels.
It is okay to grieve as we celebrate. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the one we have loved. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the healing that has come to her. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the gift from God she was, and is.
We thank God for those we love and have lost.
We thank God for today.
We thank God for the life to come.
In all things today, let us say:
Thanks be to God.