One benefit of fresh life experience is the application of knowledge which illuminates perspective. Below are seven observations I’ve made through the loss of my newborn son, Nathanael, and the grief I’ve experienced in losing him.
1. Nobody can judge another’s expression of grief. It is theirs and theirs alone. It is between them and God alone. Though people may lead another with their permission. Let us not judge our brother or sister for being inadequate. We should instead look with God into our own inadequacies.
2. Grief will make a liar of us if we come to a landing on truth prematurely. Whenever we think we have the answer in terms of grief we are probably never further from the actual authenticity of truth. The truth is the truth or nothing at all. 99% truth is still 1% a lie. We must be careful with our language. What is true seems true to us, but we may later be found wanting.
3. One thing real grief does is it slows the day. Minutes can seem like an hour; a few hours may feel like a day. But where experience divides is in the area of pain. A slow day can be excruciating or it can be a well of joy. A former grief learned means a latter grief enjoyed.
4. If we are unafraid of work we have nothing to fear. Grieving a loss simply involves work. Some work is horrendous and some work is hope-filled. The rest is drudgery. But it is only work.
5. Grief is good in that it draws us into God’s Presence. If there is anything eternal in this world it’s the grief that calls us home to God. Because we have no answer for grief, God impels us to himself. In such ways grief is a mystery that may never be worked out. Such are things in the realm of God. The point is our relationship with God is improved.
6. All spiritual gifts are given of God. Some are just given with no explanation. Other gifts are given by God as a consequence of faith. The endurance of faith under the duress of grief will procure strength available for a future grief. Neither is the grief denied nor does it in any way disable. The painful truth can be faced without facing truth’s pain.
7. There is a continuum of grief on the felt scale. It’s possible to be suicidal at one end or feel so comparatively hopeful at the other. I know I have experienced both poles and possibly most regional centres between. God is good when God is all. Give God your all and your grief will assuredly be healed. Give God your all and hope will be your prize.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.