If you are grieving the death of someone you love, you may be searching for answers to some of life’s most challenging questions, including the ‘why?’ of death. After my beloved husband died, I was desperate to understand what happened. I knew that in order to go through grief, I needed answers to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ to make sense of my grief before I could move forward again in life. Although I sorted out the ‘why’ of his illness, the ‘why’ of my grief was another matter entirely.
At its most fundamental grief is nothing more and nothing less than the human response of our heart, our soul, and our spirit to the death of one we love. We respond to the death of one we love with an outpouring of deep, sometimes visceral emotion. And though human emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt may cloud or even obscure our love for a while, when we understand what it is we feel when we grieve, inevitably love, with all its human complexities, prevails. If we did not love, our heart would not be broken by death.
Why do we grieve? We grieve because we love.
Consider for a moment this question of grief: Would you forgo the love you shared to avoid the pain of grief? No, the impulse of our heart is not to isolate or insulate ourself from the joy and glory of love solely to avoid the possibility of pain and heartache. If you have known a great love, whether for a lifetime or only for a short while, grief can feel larger than life itself, often for a very long time. Yet when we grieve, we thank God that we have known a love so great and deep that when death touches our lives, we can do nothing for a while except grieve.
How do we grieve? The greater our love, the larger and more profound our grief.
Perhaps you are grieving the death of a beloved husband or wife or partner. You may be grieving the untimely, tragic death of a precious child. Perhaps you ae grieving the death of a family member, a wise and loving parent, a friend, or someone serving our country. When we step back from ourself for a moment, we realize that grief is the heartfelt expression of love that endures beyond any experience of death. Grief comes from love. Grief springs from love. Grief arises from surrendered, selfless love. Grief is the eternal connection of love to the one we grieve and forever remember.
What do we grieve? We grieve the absence of present of love.
Through the strength of faith and an unshakeable belief in the love of God we overcome our experience of the death of one we love, and triumph over our experience of grief.
Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8 JBP