Surviving grief is not as easy as it sounds because everything brings us back to the point of our pain. My mother died 5 years ago and I had to pack up her belongings and clean out her apartment. Every time I packed a box it reminded me of my mother. Seeing her clothes reminded me of different events in our lives. Often years after a loved one dies we have flashes of their lives come across one way or another. I cleaned out her storage unit and found pictures of me when I was a child, the tears flowed again! Why, because grief doesn’t shut off like a faucet. Grief never goes away, it subsides and it lessons at times, but the memory of our loved ones lingers as long as we live. In essence memories live as long as we do! This is why ministering to grieving people is not a onetime thing. We, as chaplains cannot say a special “Word from God” to erase memories and pain. Remember Jesus wept when Lazarus died even though He knew He could raise him from the dead. Jesus was sad when John the Baptist was beheaded even though He honored John and knew that John would be in heaven when He got there, yes even Jesus grieved.
Chaplain Mark H. Stevens