Perhaps it has been a year, two years, or maybe even five years since you lost your loved one. There may have been times when you wondered whether you could survive without that person(s) in your life. But you have survived, and the wound from your loss(s) will continue to heal.
Every now and then I get an opportunity to testify or share my experience of losing my daughter and husband, who died a year apart on the same day. Many people are curious about how you handled such a time of hurt,, grief and pain. Most of the time, it is a very wholesome, helpful conversation for me and those who have been invited to listen to my conversation.
At times I feel that I need to apologize for going on and on about my losses, feeling like I am having a self-made pity party once again. But then I must realize that sharing from the heart is a very healthy way of testing how far I have come in the healing process; and how much farther I still have to go. Because the truth is, some of the pain is still inside.
The truth is, if something is still weighing heavily on you heart, it is healthy and healing for you and me to talk about it. Some people in your life may treat your loss as if it were ancient history. They may be subtly or not so subtly telling you to “get over it” or to get on with your life.” Go ahead and ignore any messages like this. Give yourself permission to grieve for as long as you need to grieve. Your loss has shaken your life, and it takes a long time to pick up the pieces and find a way to put them back together again.
Do not hurry yourself or let anyone rush you. Share the pain of your grief with “safe people” who will listen to you and appreciate what you have lost.. Each time you open up and share, you are letting go of a little more hurt and allowing a little more healing to take place. That’s the way grief is supposed to work, a little at a time, day by day, for as long as it takes. So give yourself permission to grieve again, whether it has been one year, two, five or ten.
But I advise you to seek out Christian counseling if the length of your grief causes you to lose sleep, causes you to become angry and blame God for your loss, causes physical changes in your body, causes you to fear being alone or wanting to harm to yourself. This is not healthy. The enemy would like to use your mourning period to bring in a spirit of infirmity and sickness. You must stand guard over your emotions. If you are too weak to recognize the plan of the enemy, it might be helpful to find a trusted Christian friend or believer to partner with at this time. This should be a time when you are being renewed in the spirit of your mind through the Word of God. This should be a time when you recommit to studying the Bible and cultivating a closer relationship with the Lord. He is close to those who have a broken hearted and He himself is the great comforter. If you give the enemy an inch, he’ll take it further. Stay alert, watch as well as pray. Join a bereavement group if necessary or start one at your church.
This month is a time of remembering and rebuilding of my faith and trust in God. He has indeed healed me of most of the pain and sorrow of losing Danielle and Tom. November is also the month my grandmother Sylvia was born. Today is my Grand-mommies birthday. She would be 110 years old today. She lived until she was 99 years old. She is the one who instructed me: “Don’t forget to say your prayers.” This is also the month my father passed, Nov. 18, 2002, which occurred the day after my daughter’s birthday back in 2002.
There are so many memories that come flooding over my soul during this month. It is also the 5th wedding anniversary of my son Trevor and Allyson. They got married almost three weeks after Tom’s death. So in between these tumultuous deaths, a couple started a new life together. I didn’t see it at the time, because Trevor’s getting married so soon after Tom’s death felt like another loss! But as I have stated most recently, “some things have to die, in order for some things to be given life.” As a result of their marriage, two beautiful girls have been born. Briana and Brittany are God’s gift to me.
And not to mention, the daughter of my child, Danielle, Jayla Marie, reminds me of the miraculous powerful God who scooped down and wrought deliverance for this child, who came out of a mother’s womb who only one month later was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jayla is not just a survivor, she is a conqueror. She was destined by God to be here. I call Jayla, “Esther”. She was preserved for such a time as this. She helped me in my recovery from her mom’s death. She was a reminder of the faithfulness and love that God had for me.
I am not bitter, rather better, because of what I have gone through. And I am still being poured out as a drink offering for those who have gone through or are still going through the loss of a loved one. Hopefully this week I will be able to encourage someone who is still struggling with the loss of a loved one. I hope to help you and help myself, as I go through this period of remembering and rebuilding my process of healing.