MONDAY MUSINGS

The Many Shades of Grief

The Many Shades of Grief https://beckielindsey.com/2018/10/22/the-many-shades-of-grief/

Last Thursday would have been my mom’s birthday. 

Each year since her death when I flip the calendar to October, my eyes gravitate to her day. My heart is a prisoner to grief’s tightening grip all over again. It’s been six years. When does this get easier?

There is no timeline for grief.

People are unique and so is grieving.  No two people share the exact same grieving process and loss.

Professionals say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. While this may serve a guide of sorts, there is no universal roadmap. 

Grieving is about loss, not just death.

The truth is, since my mom’s death, there have been a series of losses. Some losses were disguised. Things like a graduation, although joyous, can also carry a sense of loss when we realize that the season of childrearing is over.

I have a friend who is going through a divorce after nearly 30 years of marriage. My daughter made a strategic career move and left a job she loved. Another dear friend is moving. I have many friends in the “empty nest” stage. With all of these events, loss may be experienced.

Loss means change. Change can be difficult.

When we realize that things are shifting in our lives, we become angry and frustrated. We want to hold onto the way that things used to be rather than accepting that they are changing.

I’ve noticed that lately,  sadness and grief seems more pronounced. My middle son and his wife moved out of state. My daughter graduated college and moved an hour and a half away. My oldest son who serves in the Air Force will be likely moved even further away in the next few months. He and his wife are expecting our first grandchild. Basically, things are changing.

There is no painkiller for every type of pain we face, such as grief.

Eugene Peterson, author of The Message wrote, “The main difference today is not how much people are hurting, but how much they expect to be relieved from their hurting.”

Our modern culture looks for an immediate relief the first sign of any discomfort. 

When my son ran his first high fever, my initial response was to give him Tylenol to bring the fever down. I soon learned this is not always best.  Not all fevers need to be treated with medications. A fever is your body’s natural response to infection. Bacteria and viruses do not like heat. A healthy body will increase the temperature to try and kill off the infection. By decreasing the fever with medications, you can increase the time it takes for your body to fight off the infection.

This brings me to my next point.

Grief is part of life.

We will all experience degrees of the loss/grief throughout life. Telling myself this simple fact has helped me process and progress. Like a fever, grief demands our attention with its searing pain. But the pain of loss is natural and many times must run its course.  This doesn’t mean we ignore the pain (fever) or downplay it.

We must give ourselves permission to grieve.

Whether it’s the loss of a beloved pet, a loved one, job, a divorce, or something else—it’s okay to grieve.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay not to cry.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Some fevers do not run their course and dissipate. This is our body signaling to us we need help. It might mean talking to a friend or to a professional.

No one understands grief like Jesus does.

Jesus understands the many shades of loss and grief.

“He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.”
Isaiah 53:3

Not only does He understand, but Jesus walks within the loss and grief with us.

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18

“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Our pain is temporary.

There are times in life when the loss and grief we experience is so intense, it may seem as though it will never end. The truth is, as long as we live on this planet, we will experience troubles, pain, loss, and grief. But our hope rests on this fact: this life is not all there is! 

Christ reminds us that in this life we will have many troubles. But He also tells us to “take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Before Jesus left the earth, He promised that He was going to go and prepare a place for His followers where there would be no more pain. 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14: 1-4

 “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21: 3-4 

Our pain can be used to help others.

God never wastes a hurt. He will use what we go through to strengthen us and to help others if we will allow Him to.

“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. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.  Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.” 1 Corinthians 1: 4-7 

So, as grief rose its head in the memory of my mom on her birthday, reminding me of the other losses I am currently experiencing—I have chosen to take comfort in the promises of God. I am not alone. God not only understands my pain but He is also with me in the pain. I am journaling, talking to Him and others about my grief. I will allow God to use my losses to comfort others. And I hold on to the hope that the troubles we face here on earth will come to an end when we see Jesus face-to-face.

My friend, if you are currently experiencing a season of grief and loss, I pray you will run to the true source of peace, comfort, hope, and love found in our Lord Jesus.


 I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

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20 thoughts on “The Many Shades of Grief”

  1. Beckie — I appreciate you tackling this issue everyone faces. I like the aspect where you pointed out that we must give ourselves permission to grieve and that pain is temporary.
    God will use what we go through to make us stronger and to help others — well said.
    Del

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing. Both you and your beautiful mom have been such a comfort to me during times of grief. It’s amazing how much we grow through grief. We grow closer to God. Closer to our friends, family and those who love us. We become stronger to support others in times if grief. It’s bittersweet how much good comes to us through grieving. Realizing how much we’re loved and that we’re not alone in spite of such deep pain and loss. I pray God continues to comfort and show you how much you’re loved and appreciated. I know your mom lives through you because you have her kindness, warmth, compassion, faith and so much more. I feel blessed to have had you and your mom’s love and support through the years ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, your words brought tears to my eyes … in a good way. I’m so grateful for you, my dear friend. It’s a comfort to know my mom was special to you, too.
      Thank you for taking the time to write such heartfelt words to me. ❤

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  3. Thank you Beckie for putting into words my Feeling of grief. My list is almost as long: •My eldest son, Nathan and his wife are divorcing. Their son is 9. • The rift between my two sons is no way near to reconciling. 💔 Day 4 of this week I would like to take and drop in their laps. But but I won’t 😁. • Family w 3 grandkids will eventually move to Louisiana ☹️☹️☹️ • Ashley is working full time down the hill but she’s wants out of working for this hospital company. I see her briefly on the weekends but I miss the late night talks. • friends have or are moving away ☹️☹️ • loss of connection with friends in ministry I’ve done life with for many years. So interesting how grief and loss hit at all seasons of life. I’m sorry for your friend. Divorce is so painful. Again, thanks my friend for your timely heartfelt words. 💕💕Nancy Sent from my iPhone

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  4. Beckie, I was just thinking of you earlier today, and here I run across this post which is heartbreaking as I read it for you, and is heartbreaking for me as well. I was just writing to a friend yesterday, about how much loss I’ve experienced, and as I wrote, I was dumbfounded by the magnitude of it. No wonder I struggle so much; no wonder I always think more loss is waiting around the corner like a worn out pair of shoes, that is ugly but still fits. I don’t know how I make it through each day, but it must be the same way as you… leaning on our hope on Jesus Christ. I’m sorry about the loss of your mother and the pain which lingers. I’m sorry about your nest emptying of too many eggs way too soon. I pray God will bring new changes to light up your life in ways you never expected, in Jesus’ name! I’m sorry 😐 haven’t been in touch; there’s been grief, so I think you probably understand. I think I was supposed to read this to end the day with hope. Much love to you for many Of God’s blessings! ✝️💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Angela, how wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for sharing about some of the grief you have faced with the Lord’s loving guidance. I’m blessed to know this post ended your day with the hope of our Lord. I’m praying for you, dear sister.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Beckie! Much love! I think of you often and will try and do better about checking in. I’m also a snail when it comes to mailing things but I’m still planning to buy an autographed book for my daughter. Youths today need strong Christian-themed books which are also exciting! Thank you for being a part of what our children greatly need! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Angela, I have autographed book one, “Secrets” ready for your daughter. Email me with your address when you’re ready. By the way, book 2 “Uninvited” is out now 🙂 Your might want to get her both. Thanks so much for your support. Keep shining your light, my friend!

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  5. I’m glad you have tackled a tough subject for many, and done it so remarkably well, Beckie. Yes, we will grieve many losses in our lifetimes, and we can’t always control when, where and why an old grief will be triggered again. It’s okay to embrace it, to relive those feelings, to shed a few tears, as we know God holds us in His comforting arms. I know you miss your mom, as I miss my dad, but we will ever have memories to love and cherish.
    Blessings, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beckie, My mother passed away 18 years ago this month. I still miss her every day. The grief and pain have lessened with the passing of time, but the reality of knowing that she will never see my grandchildren, never laugh with me over silly things, or give me encouragement through the hard times hasn’t dissipated. I feel your pain, my friend. But, I think of the good times and I’m thankful that the lessons she taught me are still with me and will leave on through me. My best legacy is to pass those on to my children and grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an excellent post, dear Beckie. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. I understand because my mom went to be with the Lord in Feb. 2016. I still think about her almost every day, missing her and the good times we shared. You are so right in saying, “run to the true source of peace, comfort, hope, and love found in our Lord Jesus.” Much love to you in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily, I’m sorry for the loss of your mom, too. The grief is especially difficult at times like my boy’s weddings. I know where she is and I know I will see her someday. Truth be told, it makes me think about the reality of Heaven and making the most out of the time I have here. We are called to shine our light for Christ. There is no better way to honor God and honor my mom’s memory.
      Thanks for taking time to comment, my friend.
      Blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Grief is part of life.” I’ve been learning that since my father passed away last year, and as I get older myself, those other, lesser griefs are more and more a part of my life. Thanks for this encouragement.

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