I received an unexpected letter in the mail today...yes an actual letter not an email! It was from my sister-in-law with whom I have had some brief but thoughtful conversations over the past few weeks following my husbands suicide. She wanted to share a devotional with me to help on my journey. This touched me so much I felt it worth sharing with everyone here. Religion aside for those who do not believe...the message remains the same. We need to take time in our lives to mourn all those we have lost as well as share with all who mourn. This is not a process that can be rushed...nor should it be rushed. Our mourning is in our own time not to be dictated by others around us as frequently happens in the hectic world of ours. May you all have a sense of peace as you read the following...
A TIME TO MOURN
'Time heals' we hear, but my husband, whose mother died 33 years ago when he and his brothers and sisters were young, would disagree. They still bear the scars of having buried their grief and never having mourned healthily together.
Jesus tells us that those who mourn will be blessed and comforted. Mourning strikes me as active, not passive, involving remembering, talking about, crying over...which takes time. Sadly, nowadays little time is given to those who are grieving. Life carries on regardless. After a bereavement or loss (of a loved one, friendship, career or dreamed-for family), we have to pick up the pieces, move on and act as normal...OR DO WE?
A few years ago our church leader and his wife suffered the tragic, unexpected loss of their youngest son, James. Working alongside him I'd see his door firmly closed at lunchtime. He told me that he'd look at photos of James, listen to James's music and allow time, alone with God, for his grief to surface - before resuming his day. At night he and his wife lit a candle in James's memory to remember him together. I've learned much from their example.
We may not all be able to deal with our grief in this way but the principle remains. To mourn a loss takes time. The apostle Paul exhorts us to 'mourn with those who mourn as shared grief binds us closer, allowing us to strengthen and comfort one another. How precious Jesus' tears must have been to Mary and Martha - expressing his love for them and their late brother, Lazarus. If you are currently mourning a loss, may you too know the Lord's love, compassion and comfort in your grief.