Four days ago, I lost a close friend who had been battling chronic debilitating disease. Even though we knew he was sick, his death came as a shock. It was so sudden.
As I comforted his widow, who is a dear friend, I was reminded once again how horrible death is. You are never truly ready to lose someone you love, never ready to say goodbye.
If you are hurting now, my heart goes out to you.
Several people came up and thanked me afterward. They are always told, "This is just a normal part of life."
Normal? No. God calls death the final enemy.
Jesus conquered death on the cross. When we die, if we belong to Christ, we go to Heaven and live eternally. But, there is a day coming when there will be no more death, or pain, or suffering for those who belong to Jesus. He will finally destroy death and satan, the enemy of our souls who tempted Adam and Eve, bringing death into the world. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth.
Until then, we have to experience death: our own death and the loss of loved ones.
You do not have to feel okay about death, just as you should not have to feel okay with someone robbing you at gunpoint.
Let yourself mourn. Grieve, cry, wail. Work through the loss. It is a tragedy and you can be sad.
Give yourself time to work through the pain. You can pull away by yourself. I often walk in a park or at the beach to pour my pain out to the Lord.
Often quiet is helpful. Turning the volume down on music and media can create a calmer atmosphere that is soothing to your hurting heart.
Talk about your pain with people who will listen and empathize. Let them hug and hold you.
Read the Bible, especially the Promises of God. I love to read I Corinthians 15 over and over. It is about death and resurrection. It fills up my soul with hope. I love to read about God's love or passages about Jesus--I just love to read passages about the Lord teaching, doing miracles, or healing folks. Reading God's Word reminds me that I belong to Him and He is good. He will take care of me and heal my heart.
The Bible tells us that we do not grieve as those who have no hope (I Thessalonians 4:13). It doesn't say we don't grieve, but it does say that we have hope in our grieve that our loved one is with the Lord, if he belongs to Jesus.
Finally, remember good times, look at photographs, and thank the Lord for the gift of your loved one. Talk about those memories with others who love him, or her, too.
Grieving takes time; so give yourself time. Ask God to heal your heart and the hearts of those who mourn. And remember: One day death will be no more. I love to remind myself that day is coming!
If you are hurting now, my prayers are with you. God bless you and hold you close.