Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
1 Corinthians 15:55 NRSV
You may ask, “Is there a ‘shelf life’ for grief?” For anyone who has experienced death in the first person, the answer is assuredly no. Figuratively, you may box up and shelve your unresolved issues for a while. But some time later, from the improved perspective of time, likely you will decide to take down the box and revisit its contents. You may look through what’s there and touch it again. Perhaps you will hold it close and reexamine it. You may decide to let it go or hold onto it and put it back on the shelf. Or you may decide to file it, put it in another box of odds and ends, shred it, scrap it, or put it on a figurative bonfire and burn it. This is the only real “shelf life” that pertains to grief. Unlike well-marked packages at a supermarket, grief has no expiration date.
God, death will not have the final word in my heart. I know the sting of grief, yet death does not claim victory in my soul. Thank you for your victory in death and in life. Amen.
A solemn and personal lesson of death is that I must grieve in order to live.