Part of life is experiencing loss. There is no way around it. We cannot avoid it. No matter how we live, no matter how much we try to self-protect, no matter how hard we try to insulate ourselves loss will strike and it will strike more than once in our life. No matter what the circumstances around the loss, a loss is a loss.
Maybe it’s a job. Maybe a friend moves away or for some reason is not in your life anymore. Maybe a parent dies. Or maybe a tragedy strikes and death takes someone very close to you. All these are losses and more than likely we all will experience them more than once in our life.
So what do you do with the loss? How do you move on? And not just move on, but move on in a healthy way so that pain and bitterness and fatigue do not rule your life but peace, joy and love does? Is this possible?
I have found that grief is absolutely necessary for a healthy life. The problem with grief is that it usually takes time, and time is something that most of us do not want to give to grieving.
Right? Grief is painful and grief is sorrowful. Grief is not fun! Some people purposefully avoid it while others just get wrapped up in every day life and never allow themselves to grieve the loss they have experienced. Either way it produces a lack of healthiness in our lives. Proper grief allows us to detach and let go of what was so we can attach and grab hold of what is to come.
In my own life, this year has been a year of great loss. I lost my mom in April and I lost my closest friend in August. One to cancer and the other to a tragic automobile accident. Other than my wife, these two represented the people who had known me the longest. They knew me the most and loved me the most. They were people who believed in me, encouraged me, defended me, prayed for me, dreamed with me, labored in the kingdom of God with me and I did the same for them. Needless to say this loss was and is still great.
Even though their lives on this earth came to a sudden halt, life on this earth did not. Time just keeps moving. Responsibilities are still responsibilities. And so like many people, I jumped back into life.
A couple weeks ago I began to recognize that I had been struggling with fatigue and fear – Fear that I was going to lose my wife to some tragic accident. This is not normal for me, so after experiencing this fear for the third time I recognized that something was not right.
So, I asked Jesus about it and also sat with a counselor. What I came to realize was that losing my wife was the ultimate loss. My mom and my friend were the ones who knew me the most and loved me the most other than my wife and so she would be the ultimate loss and I was fearing that. As I processed I began to realize that though I had taken a little time to grieve my friend, I still needed to grieve my mom. So on the floor of my office I wept and I grieved the loss of my mom and I allowed the Lord Jesus to comfort me.
Since then, my energy has returned and the fear… it’s gone! Proper grief is necessary. It brings peace, joy and love. It also restores energy and breaks fear. If you have experienced loss and have not taken the time to grieve I encourage you to do so. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through it. Seek out a counselor.
Do what you need to do to grieve well! It will bring life!