And the winner is...Felicia! Thank you so much Felicia for entering your name in my drawing to win a copy of my new women's Bible study book Whispers of My Heart. Please send me your mailing address: KathyCollardMiller AT gmail DOT com. If you'd prefer a Kindle copy, send me your Amazon account email to me.
In a recent post I wrote about how I killed my heart with a 12 gauge shotgun when my 50-year-old father died suddenly of a heart attack. I was prompted to write about it because my brother had died just a week earlier.
Now it's been a month since my brother went to heaven and my grief experience has been profoundly different than when my father died over 40 years ago.
When I used the shotgun metaphor I didn't think through how the metaphor could work. A 12 gauge shotgun shoots pellets. And as I pondered grief and my journey, I see how a heart can be wounded by the lies about grief. Each lie is like one of those pellets which kill the heart. So here are some thoughts about the lies and the truth of grief.
Grieving doesn't mean our faith is weak. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. We don't know the reason considering He knew He would momentarily raise Lazarus back to life. But Jesus had faith! So grieving doesn't necessarily mean we don't have faith. By the way, I wonder if Jesus was weeping because He so felt the grief of His friends. He was empathizing with them.
Grieving doesn't mean we have to cry all the time. I've been surprised at how my grieving "looks." Sometimes I seem unaffected but then suddenly I'm sobbing. Sometimes I know the reason why and sometimes I don't. Something will remind me of my brother or I'll think, "I have to call Chuck and ask him about this." Or I'll notice the photos of him around the house and the loss seems profound. Other times I honestly feel numb...and that's the next point.
Grieving involves numbness and that's okay. Shock and numbness can be God's gift of going through the initial days when so much needs to be done. Of course, I don't have the responsibility my sister-in-law and her children do. But I think God used a certain level of numbness to empower me to share at his service about our childhood before over 500 people. I did sob later but God surprisingly gave me that gift.
Grieving can be sweet while being extremely sad. I've been surprised, even shocked, that as I grieve the loss of my brother and think of him, there's a sweetness of focusing on him. Thinking of him, I enjoy reflecting on who he was and what he meant to me and so many. I can appreciate the fact we had a close relationship--something I know not everyone has. I don't berate myself or tell myself I shouldn't experience that sweetness or that I should feel it every time. It's a gift from God that comes as He leads.
Which of those are surprising to you, if any? What have you experienced in the grieving you've experienced? I'd love to hear and so would my readers because it would be a blessing to them and me. And thank you for your caring prayers for our family as we continue our grief process of losing a fabulous brother, husband, father, friend, and Christian.