Grief's Always There...
~Tommy and Angie Prince
I was reading a grief book tonight in which the author chastisingly says, "One of the most damaging pieces of misinformation is the idea that you can 'never get over' the death of a child." He chastised a grieving mother whose child had completed suicide when she said, "My heart is permanently broken." He used semantics to try to convince her that when she has sweet memories of that child, her heart is not broken, it just "feels" broken when she remembers her child's struggles and remembers her child's death...
Oh please. NEVER should a person who hasn't lost a child pontificate their "positivity"-spin for a precious child-loss griever. When I read the entry in this man's book to Tommy tonight, I loved my husband's "shoot from the hip" response. He said,
"Oh that's just a bunch of Cognitive Behavioral nonsense that's trying to reframe her reality."
There is a time and place for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and reframing, but to try to talk a grieving mother out of her broken heart is just nonsense to me, and to Tommy...
I also mentioned to Tommy as we were contemplating what we wanted to write in today's "Wednesday Woe" ~ Do we have anything we want to say in regard to our grief woes that might relate to Easter or Good Friday? I loved Tommy's response:
"When you read the gospel and see how Jesus behaved, there was always the (harsh reality of) 'I've got to go to the cross' hanging over His head..."
So true. Jesus did not try to deny His own harsh reality. He kept His feet based in reality, but kept His eyes and heart set on God.
"And when His followers didn't want to hear His concerns, He would try to bring them back to reality..."
Yes, one of His closest followers, Peter, cried out, "No Lord, You shouldn't have to suffer!" Jesus chastised him saying, "Get behind Me Satan; you have in mind the interests of man, not the interests of God."
In our child-loss grief, we are always going to be undone at some level. It seems to me if we "fight" that reality, we actually become worse ~ we just set ourselves up for a fall when the next grief wave takes us by surprise.
On the other hand, If we bear in mind that, at some level, this grief is always with us, we tend to have more grace toward ourselves and can better care for our broken hearts. It seems we would then do a better job of taking into consideration our new limitations when we begin to make plans for our lives.
Yes, our reality is harsh. But to "wish it away" with positive thinking (in our minds anyway) is just a cruel set-up. Because for us, the reality is, at some level...
Our Hearts Are Always Broken This Side Of Heaven.
Yes, we will have many delightful times, even celebrations, but a part of our heart was killed at the time of our baby's death such that we will ever long for God's completion of His destruction of sin, death, and evil on the Other Side.
In fact, God's Word even says, that we ALL grieve, waiting for God's complete redemption for His creation. I believe God's acknowledging our grief, and even helping us accept that such grief is there for a reason, is one of His many loving graces.
I want to embrace truth, not positivity spins to try to "wish away" our harsh reality; those spins do us no real favors in the long run.
Notice in these verses all the different types of "groans" we will have...
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing withe the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation HAS BEEN GROANING as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, GROAN INWARDLY as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with GROANS that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
~Romans 8: 18-27 NIV*
We believe our Grief will always be with us, this side of Heaven. God doesn't tell us to deny our harsh reality. He tells us to remember Who is standing with us amidst such harsh reality, for nothing and no one can separate us from God's love for us:
What then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is He that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.
~Romans 8:31-39 NIV*