Monday, March 31, 2008

Guest Post - How to Grieve

How to Grieve
By a guest writer
March 30, 2008

Kristy and I met on-line ten years ago. For a long while we were quite close, and she even visited me from across the seas, but we then drifted apart as girlfriends sometimes do. We were "reunited" on-line in the past year, and I was so excited to learn that she'd found her love and they were getting married. We were both surprised to learn the coincidence that, upon her marriage, we would be sharing the same surname.

They had just 10 weeks together as husband and wife when her beloved Steve was suddenly, tragically taken away. It isn't fair, and nothing can make it fair. It doesn't make sense, and no one can make sense of it. It is not natural, never has been, and never will be, for someone to suffer so great a loss.

Not a single solitary person knows how Kristy feels. No one has ever felt what she is feeling, and no one will ever know how she is feeling. Only she can possibly know how Kristy feels to lose Steve. All the rest of us can know is, whatever she is feeling, the pain of it all is hell on earth for her right now.

Kristy's church family has stepped in to take care of her day-to-day basic survival needs...things like food and home maintenance. Her dearest sister is flying from Texas to Australia this week to be by her side. People all over the world are thinking about her, praying for her, and sympathizing with her. This is all any of the rest of us can do.

But there is other "help" being offered. People whose hearts are most certainly in a place of genuinely wanting to give comfort, but they are offering that comfort in the way of instruction:

"I know how you feel,"
"I have felt the same sort of loss,"
"Read this book,"
"Pray this prayer,"
"Think these thoughts,"
"Watch this movie,"
"Confess these sins,"

Trust, believe, pray, do this, do that, think this, feel that.

There are also those who simply admit the fact that there are no words, that all the rest of us can do is pray, and that there is no right way to grieve.

Bless her heart, Kristy, in the midst of all this, has issued a thank you for "each and every" comment she has received. She, even in her own private tempest, is extending grace to the well intentioned souls around her. She, while not trying to "do the right thing" but just trying her best to survive this nightmare, is exemplifying the behavior that can only abound from a character being fashioned in the image of Christ.

For me, this is a reminder that our first thought toward our brothers and sisters should never be what we might teach, but what we might learn.

I just wish everyone would realize that no one can tell anyone how to grieve.

Our hearts are broken for you, Kristy.

Click here to visit Kristy's blog

~ Lacey