2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)
God Offers Comfort to All
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Everyone deals with loss in different ways. I deal with it differently than my brother. I deal with it differently than my wife. I deal with it differently than those that are reading this article. And for everyone grief and loss takes on different time limits and different emotional stages.
I remember when I was 19 my girlfriend from Regina, Saskatchewan was visiting my house for a few weeks in the summer. During this time however, my grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) cancer had escalated and she was now in the hospital in Calgary. I remember it vividly. I remember walking into the hospital with my girlfriend, hand held, going into my grandmother’s room…and seeing her there. Pale. Skinny. And although I knew it but couldn’t admit it, dying.
This was not the grandmother I remembered in my childhood. The one I grew up with. Full of life. Laughing. Inviting us up to Calgary for every holiday and whenever we could go. She was the one that put together the holidays and dinners and brought the family closer. My cousins, my aunts and uncles. Great aunts and great uncles. She was the glue that held us together. She was the one that the family looked to as the anchor for my mom’s side of the family.
The rest is a bit of a blur. I remember the smell of the hospital. I remember going down the elevator, trying to bury how I was feeling. I never knew this would be the last time I would ever see my grandmother again. She died soon after that. And after that I felt numb. No grief. No acceptance. I don’t even know if I cried. What I do remember is going forward numb. It was all over. She was gone.
I had lost my other grandmother not too long before that. She was the one that kept my father’s side of the family together as well. I saw her for the last time in the hospital as well, though I don’t remember that as to be honest it was all a blur and over 20 years ago. But it was the same feeling as well, numbness. I don’t remember ever really trying to accept what had happened with her either. There were no more camping trips. No more holidays at the park with her. No more going over to her house just to visit (and as kids it was not something we WANTED to do but did at the beckoning of our parents). It was just all over. She was gone.
When we lose someone we hold dear to us, words can never truly express the pain we feel. Sometimes that pain is buried deep; sometimes that pain comes out in different emotions. Sometimes that pain takes years and years to get over. It’s never the same.
Those around us that experience loss as well, we cannot get in their heads and direct their emotions and feelings to the same way we do it. We can only stand by their side, mourn when they mourn, and let them know that we are there for them…however long it takes. We can direct them for comfort from the One who created them and understands what they are going through inside and out. The father gave up His only son for all of us, so He can relate. He also created us, so He knows EXACTLY how we are feeling and EXACTLY what we are thinking…when no one else does.
Leaning into His arms, into His love is the best medicine for mourning and loss. He is there for us. Always. Holding us in His arms when we have no more tears to shed or no more words to say. He is there when we lay awake at night staring at the ceiling wondering how we will cope and move on.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people that we have lost the last week. So many that made a giant impact on our lives. Some more directly than others.
My prayers go out especially to my friend Vince Russo though. The loss was close and pain he feels is real and raw. I mourn with you my friend, and pray God comforts you through this. He is there for you however long this takes, and so are we. Love you my friend!