Grief is a funny thing. It's never when you think it should come. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Sometimes, it's when you're putting dishes away. Others, it comes as a flood in the Target grocery aisle for what seems no reason at all. Grief isn't picky about its victim. It just whacks you upside the head, and there is no stopping it. Grieving the loss of the life you wanted isn't cured by catchy phrases or meal trains (though food is always a close second in my opinion.) Grief will find you closest to the Father if you let it.
Grief finds you wandering dazed the kitchen feeling as if there are weights keeping you from moving forward.
Grief is standing in the shower, forgetting if you've washed your hair as you stop the water and step out.
Grief is feeling the breaths come fast as you stand in a room full of joy-filled people and all you can think is to run for an exit through tear blurred eyes.
Grief makes you lose your phone by putting it not only inside the donut box, but on top of a chocolate longjohn. True story.
Grief, it sneaks up on you like a breeze, then a storm, out of nowhere. Just when you think you have this under some kind of control, for no reason at all the tears well up and the pain pours out from deep within.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 NIV
I pray this verse back to God under my breath most days. If you let it, grief will guide you back to the only one who can take that hurt away.
Jesus grieved. He knew loss. When I let myself go from self to God he shows me the way back to healing through Him.
"Jesus wept." John 11:35 CSB
Jesus knew pain, and He knew the pain of seeing those he loved hurting. And he used everything in His power, He went to our Father on their behalf to ease their pain. And this is how I know He will get us through our pain. (John 11)
We grieve for many reasons. The big one is usually due to what you're thinking; complete loss, death. But we can grieve over the loss of many things. Maybe someone you know is grieving the loss of the way of life they thought it would be for their child. If you know someone grieving, here are some things you can say to them:
I am praying for you. (Then please do it. God does things in prayer.)
I am sorry you have to go through this pain.
This must be so hard for you.
I can't imagine what this must be like.
Please do not tell them it is all in God's plan. Maybe it is. But I will tell you right now I do not like God's plan. I want my plan. I don't want to hear, "God's got this." I know He does or the world would fall off its axis. But I'm not having it right now. I may not understand His ways, but I want only my selfish ways right now. I cannot see through my tears and heartbreak to listen to logic or hullabaloo nonsense words to try to make me feel better.
Just show up, unannounced even, and sit. Don't call and ask what you can do. Remember, feet are stuck to the floor, we can't remember if we've washed our hair in the shower, and we do not know how to even move forward, let alone tell someone else what they should be doing. Just show up. Show up.
Grieve with them.
My husband and I are parents of all boys. One of whom was a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities and medical needs. I don't always know what I'm doing as I parent these guys. But what I do know is God is teaching me big things through our trials that I probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from me at www.mostlyeandme.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @stefmckeever.