In grief, the counterfeit life of denial cannot stand. The voice of grief insists on being heard. And if we insist on covering our ears and closing our eyes to the obvious reality we will not only never heal, we will remain less mature than God wills us to be.
I can report this as a real experience: where we respond to the truth of grief in our loss, and we simply endure it, coming back to God each time, something very special happens. We are not only healed of the painful nuances of the loss, we are found to learn resilience and the meaning of life.
The meaning of life is to become mature, to grieve well, and to do the will of God.
Enduring the grief of loss is a worthy pastime for a single, solid reason: by endurance, our hearts are softened to compassion, and our minds are sharpened to perceive compassion. We learn so much in the pit of despair; in the chasm of calamity; in many senseless days survived, with hope retained for meaning at same stage.
When we are opened up like a steel can by the losses we experience, God wants us to remain exposed and vulnerable enough to call the tough time for what it is. God knows there’s no sense in denial and we know in our heart of hearts that we are only robbing ourselves of coming to know ourselves as we could.
One loss grieved well is learning for the losses to come. But there’s another vital truth we need to understand. The more we get used to the reality of life – that life is often so far from being desirable – the more our realities won’t bother us. The more we hold God’s will up as our only acceptable standard, the more we are not bothered as much when things don’t go precisely our way.
Getting things our own way is just not the point of life.
When we live life as if getting our own way is paramount we are childish, and there is no leadership for anyone reliant on us in that.
But just one bout of loss that was grieved well opens the doorway for how we are healed.
By grieving our losses well God is showing us how to handle life. A loss grieved well is the utmost preparation for life. Grieving losses patiently and compassionately teaches us about life.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.