By David Coy
We have all been there or will be. Grief is a natural response to the loss of something or someone we highly value and esteem. Many of the emotional and physical experiences are similar to what others have been through even though our life experiences are unique and individual. No one can truly say, “I know how you feel.” At the same time, the old adage, “Time heals all wounds,” is also false. Senecca, says it this way: “time heals what reason cannot.” I personally think that also falls short of accurately describing the journey with grief. The statement time heals implies that left alone our sorrow will resolve itself without any effort on our part.
Leaving room for an exception, ordinarily, it takes much effort on the mourner’s part to work through the loss to emerge healthy in mind and body. Denying reality never produced any positive result. Sometimes our expression of grief is delayed because of shock. I remember when my grandfather died in 1983. I was in the military and was alerted of his death by the American Red Cross. I must have been numb at the news. I remember doing what was necessary to prepare for the journey home for the funeral. I also remember not feeling anything by way of heartache or sorrow for about three weeks. Then it hit me quite intensely. My paternal grandfather and I used to garden and fish together. We also sat around the table socializing and went on trips in the area together. It was not an easy time, but it was workable when I faced the reality that time alone does not heal. If a person is expressive, then even crying is appropriate and not a sign of weakness (John 11:35). Showing love and loss is natural.
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