Today I went to a funeral where I observed my son-in-law have to bury his mother and sitting there watching him grieve brought back so many memories of doing just that when I buired my parents and in-laws. Those services are designed to be a celebration of life while also being a final goodbye to the human body that is now lying dorment empty of the spirit that God puts in all of us. I sat and cried as I watched him suffer along with his family members. His mom was a wonderful lady that welcomed my daughter into her family and treated her so well. It was an honor to attend this goodbye but it also was hard to watch in the same moment.
I really struggled when my dad passed in 2009 suddenly and remember being in the stages of grief during that long process. I layed in bed and cried every night once it hit me that he was really gone and I would not see him again until I myself make it to Heaven. Then my mom left this world suddenly in 2017. I was going to take her to the doctor and found her in her recliner. She had passed shortly before I got there and I struggled with that for many years. I thought I could have changed it or saved her. Then I worked through the grief process and figured it out. It is not about our time, it is about Gods timing. We are born and we die. Below is the process I used to work through grief.
- This is the first reaction of denial. We deny that it has actually happened and somehow hope that what we are facing is actually not real. This is a tough time and a rush of quick emotion hits you like a train suddenly. Your world is turned upside down and inside out. Realizing that you are in denial helps us move to the next phase of the grieving process.
- We get angry because something or someone we love has been suddenly torn away or taken from us. When I lost my parents I was so angry and wanted God to take me instead. In this process I never accused God of being bad but I was angry for a bit. I had to get through this and understand that things are not about me but about a plan. Not my plan, but Gods. Moving past the anger and resentment takes you to the stage of bargaining.
- We then want to bargain with God. We say things like take me instead or why didn’t you take me. We are directly questioning that process of nature and how things work. In the Bible it tells us we are born and we die. What we do in between is up to us. We are asking God to change the course of history and do a special favor. Only person ever brought back was Jesus and he was supernatural. We are not to bargain with God when someone dies.
- We then hit the depression stage where we just are wore out, tired and kind of dead spiritually for awhile. That is when we have to find our biggest amount of strength and faith and overcome. Depression is real and it wrecks families, marriages and relationships if we do not face it and overcome. When you are depressed you have to find a way to get back into the light and away from the darkness. The Devil wants us to turn from God and place blame on him and be in a state of depression. Look up and know everything will be alright.
- The last stage or phase is acceptance. This comes many times when we bury that loved on or attend the service. At that point we have been through the emotional roller coaster of death and grief. Not everybody heals that quick as we have a spot in our heart gone with the loss of that person. With time and acceptance we can then truly begin the process of forgiveness and getting over the loss. It takes time and patience. Most importantly it takes faith!
You will not forsake me. You are constant. You are my light in the darkness. You are the ultimate promise. You will stand by what you claim. You see my heart and my pain.