Week #4: Where is Jesus when I mourn?

mended heart quote8

We are all going to lose someone we love.

As I look around at the faces of those I call family, that’s a harsh fact.

I can only pray that it’s me first.  Not because I want to be noble, but because I can’t imagine life without them.

Is that too honest?

Writing this chapter (#4) was the hardest. I know what brokenness looks like, but not in loss. So I invited two people I know well to join me.

One was Amber, mom to beautiful Callie. The other was Jennifer, wife to Wayne.

Both experienced loss. Amber said goodbye to Callie when her little girl was only 8. It was unexpected, and it changed her forever. Jennifer said goodbye to Wayne, her husband of many years. Cancer took his life, but not his spirit as they walked this turn in the road together until Jennifer was left alone.

I wept as I wrote Amber’s story. Little Callie’s fierce, funny personality kept popping up as I penned the words. I could see her sitting beside her mom, her hands raised in the air to worship. I could hear her zinging retort as someone teased with her, and she teased right back.

I was in awe of Jennifer’s honesty, and her courage as I wrote her story. I would often look over to Richard, my own guy that I love, and try to imagine what it would be like to walk in Jennifer’s shoes.

The theme that came out in both of these stories was that grieving can be lonely. 

Perhaps people say the wrong thing, like, “Heaven has another angel.” Or, “At least you had [X number] of years.”

You have immense support for weeks, but then it’s gone. Life has resumed as normal, but normal isn’t your world anymore.

After time, you learn to hide your grief, but pushing it down only makes it show up in ways and places you don’t want it to.

How does Jesus Mission Statement (Luke 4:18-19) help a heart shattered by loss?

In Jesus’ presence, you are not required to hide your grief, or bury it, or pretend it doesn’t exist. 

He is a safe place. He understands sorrow. He knows the love you shared.

This week we are going to look at those three things, and allow Jesus to begin to heal untended grief.

Read Chapter Four.

Even if you haven’t experienced grief, please read this chapter. It will help you be a blessing to those who have. 

Q: Have you pushed down your grief so that others might feel less burdened by your pain?

Q: Does God grieve with you? Read the story of Mary and Jesus in John 11. What did that look like for Mary?

Q: “We will all face loss.” Like me, that might be a harsh statement to accept. If you lost someone and God has healed your heart. What might you say to someone who has just experienced loss?

If you are just now joining us, jump in! You can purchase the book at P31, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any other distributor! Each week is on this blog, so just start at week one and take your time in each. So glad you joined us!

Tomorrow we’ll take Mary’s story a little deeper. See you then!

 Suzie

 

 

Comments

  1. Chris Dawson says:

    Suzie,

    I already shared with you that I lost my dear Father in October. It has been SO difficult. This chapter was helpful for me. I really appreciate what Kari had to say here on your blog, about talking about the person we have lost. I said to a friend just last week that I don’t know if people miss my Dad, because they don’t TALK about him. It’s like he’s just disappeared. But yet they know my mom’s and my pain and care how we are doing.

    Grief CAN be very lonely. I noticed that after the funeral, pretty much everyone disappeared and returned to their lives, leaving us to pick up the pieces. There have been a few who come around, but the majority have gone away. It can be very lonely at times.

    Thanks for writing this chapter, Suzie. It made me cry again, as the grief is still very fresh.

  2. It is really hard when you lose some one that you are really close to.m
    My best friend lost her life in auto accident 10 months ago a
    Ago a drunk driver hit her and left the seen.She was took to the hospital and pass away there. I really miss her.

  3. Karen Wales says:

    I lost my husband of 18 years to suicide 3 1/2 years ago unexpectedly. He was a believer and very involved in our church. I am left with our 4 children to bring up alone….something I never thought I would have to do. It’s been a hard journey….and still is….but God has been my rock and fortress and strength….and on the days when I’ve cried out to Him saying ‘it’s too hard’, He is there to help me through.
    My faith has been/and still is at times sorely tested.

  4. I lost my youngest daughter, 21, the day after Easter in 2009. I know that I still have days where I can do nothing but turn on praise music and worship the Lord or I just have to spend the day reading and meditating on Gods Word, for on those days, I can do nothing else.
    My biggest advise to someone who is trying to help another get through would be to just be there for them….long after the funeral….dont use the cliches, we know where are children are but we miss them. For me I still need to talk about her, even though she is not here, she is still a part of me and a part of my life that I do not want to lose. She may not be here but she is in my heart and I don’t want anyone to forget her….so I talk about her when things remind me of her or her funny ways. Let them talk, if you remember and knew these people, talk about what you remember….good or bad. That has been the biggest help for me and there are only certain people in my life who allow me to do so. Its sad, but true. They have no clue how to handle it, what to say to you but I would encourage them to ASK for what they need from others because everyone is different and grieves different. Just don’t abandon them like some in my life did to me because they had no clue what to do or say. If you really care….be there.
    There is nothing like having a child in your life and the next thing you know they are gone. To us….they are still there. When the world continues on, even though we feel it shouldn’t, we just really need to know that someone remembers them, someone witnessed their lives beside us as mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. Just care.
    I had a couple people that still to this day, send me cards in the mail, small packages that they picked up because it reminded them of my daughter and thought it would bless me….and it did and still does. Then I had friends who would make sure that I got out of the house, and still do, because it really is hard to go back out and watch the world just continue living when in our world, we are learning how to live once again with a new normal….I still haven’t found my new normal but I know the Lord is carrying me and helping me through.
    To all who have lost someone they care dearly about….I am soooo sorry! Love those that are still with you and cherish every day you have with them because we just don’t know how long we will have them in our lives. And those people are the most precious we could be blessed with. LOVE while you can, with all your heart. No regrets if we live this way. I am blessed to have had my daughter for 21 years of her sparklie, energetic life and will hold those things in my heart until I see her again!

    • Thank you for sharing these. Just yesterday I found out that a friend of mine lost her son in a skydiving accident. He’s 27, and her youngest and each of these will help me know how to love her during this incredibly overwhelming, hurt-filled time and beyond.

      I’m sorry for your loss. I’d love to know more about her sweet girl. <3

      • I am soooo sorry to hear that Suzie. It is a very hard time and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone to be added to this yucky heartbreaking club. I will say that I would go light on meals,, just every couple days because eating will not be something done but a nibble here and there. A couple months down the road, when every one is gone and moved on is when the meals need to come in. After something this devastating, its hard to even plan a meal, let alone cook one! The mind just goes numb to help a person get through this shock and it seems like it takes forever to clear…I still have issues and am flighty and confused about simple things. But with time, it does clear up.

        My Stefanie was a fun loving, high spirited, tender-hearted young lady that just loved the people around her and even ones she didn’t know. She would go without to help many people around her less fortunate than her. Kids especially! She lived her life to the fullest, one day at a time. We had a good relationship and so I have no regrets. I just miss our weekly sillyness times we had together, shopping, playing games, watching funny movies or just talking about life and our Lord.

        God answered my question as to why and He showed me that she would not have been able to handle the things in this world that are happening and will happen. Her heart was just too soft. She blessed more people than I could even imagine. I hate to say it, but her death brought life to many she knew. I am honored the Lord picked me to be her mother.

      • She was my youngest too. :O(

  5. I have never lost a spouse, a child or a parent but I have lost all of my grandparents. Unfortunately, my family and I went through a five year span when we lost many aunts and uncles as well as grandparents, one seemingly right after the other. My maternal grandmother lived the closest and helped raise me so I felt her loss a little more deeply. Grief is lonely and is very hard especially when you have well-intentioned people telling you that, “She was 88. It was her time” or “She was 88. She lived a long life!” The biggest thing I learned out of those experiences was that it is okay to grieve and it’s okay to bawl your eyes out. Cling to God in those times. He will be with you every step of the way and while the ache takes time to heal and in some cases it never fully goes away, it does get better. Grief can feel never-ending but it does get better, I promise.

    • I guess I should have said that even though my grandmother was elderly and I knew months before she passed that her time was near, it didn’t make it easier to handle once she was gone. She’s been gone 3 1/2 years and I still miss her to the point of tears, especially at this time of the year because she loved spring. I also know that she is whole now and that helps immensely. I forgot to include that minor point. ;)

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