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The Other Side of Grief

The death of a loved one is something we'll all, at one point or another, have to face in life. It is never easy, but hopefully this article can help you to cope, bring you comfort by the Holy Spirit, and useful perspective as you adjust to your new life.




In the most ironic way, we learn how valuable life is when we are faced with death. I truly never wanted to have children. I just couldn't see the point. Grow an entire human in your body, go to the brink of death to push it out, stay up all night, lose sleep, money, and time. Your breast become a bottle for a hungry newborn. Your uterus is contracting back to its original size, and you are on an hormonal rollercoaster as your body attempts to regulate after growing this little human. Or...I can just never marry, never have children and sleep late, go where I want whenever I want to go there. Oh! And I get to spend all my money on myself and keep my breast from being pulled down to my knees by a hungry baby. No poopy pampers, no constant laundry, no sleepless nights. Just me, in my all white condo, with my all white little miniature dog. Yes! Life will be awesome and I don't have to share myself with anyone but Jesus. And I don't have to care about anyone else’s needs. Nice!




I struggled to see the meaning of family. Marriage and children just seemed like a lifelong disruption to me. Then November 21, 2015 arrived. That's the day my dad died. It was some of the worse pain I have ever felt. Minutes after finding out he passed the first people I spoke with were his mom and sister (my grandmother and aunt). One of the first things I said to them was, "I never want anyone to feel this way." It was the worse feeling in the world. I didn't know the supernatural wonder of the family connection until that day.


I remember going through the motions of not wanting to eat, not being able to sleep, and crying at the thought of a future without my father. "Well, what if I do get married?" I thought, "It will be the saddest day ever! I'll be the lonesome bride with no one to walk her down the aisle." I thought about how he'd never be able to see my siblings get married or have children.


I thought about the finality of death. The words that would never be spoken. The hugs we'd never give. The laughs we'd never share. The times he made me angry. The times he failed me. The times he showed up. The advise he gave me about men. The times I got on his nerves. I thought of it all. And no matter how hurtful, or how great the memories, his death made even the ugliest times meaningful. I will share with you 4 things I learned about death in the hopes that you will be comforted in your loss.






1. A part of you dies when they die.

I remember feeling like something within me was dead. Like, a very relevant part of me no longer existed. I remember thinking, "I had no idea God created us this way. Our parents are literally a part of us." And when they leave this earth, no matter the type of person they were or the type of relationship you had, you feel it. This gaping void I felt was an amazing opportunity to draw closer to God.

"A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." -Psalm 68:6

I knew this void I felt would be filled by Jesus Christ Himself. Our Heavenly has this amazing way of becoming everything we need Him to be. As life shifts and changes God becomes who we need Him to be so we can make it through each season victoriously. The loss you feel will somehow work together for your good. God is so perfect that if you stay in His will, He will even use your pain to bless you. I want you to be encouraged. I know it hurts, I know you miss them, and sometimes you just don't understand, but you will be stronger, wiser, more mature and more resilient on the other side of this grief. So, yes, a part of you dies when they do but I have good news for you! This makes room for a new you to emerge that couldn't exist simultaneously with them. The comforts of having them their, the trauma you never dealt with, never having to exercise godly joy in the midst of sorrow. The death of a loved one challenges you to grow up, mature, and become acquainted with a new you. A new you emerges on the other side of grief. A new you comes alive. This new you has gotten the privilege to know God as a father to the fatherless, a friend to the friendless, a mother to the motherless. So, not only does a new you exist on the other side of grief, but a closeness with God that life had not yet required is experienced.

"A new you emerges on the other side of grief."





2. There is nothing more you could've done.

After the death of a loved one, guild oftentimes settles in. "Did I do enough? Did I pray enough? Did I support them enough? Did they know I love them? Should I have prayed with them more?" Endless questions fold your mind after the death of a loved one. You wonder what you could've done differently to extend their time on earth. Or, you wonder what you could've done differently to make their last days better than they were. We all have a book in Heaven. Literally, we all have a story. I've learned that we can only live our story. You cannot live for your father, your mother, your siblings, your spouse, and so on. You watched them live out their testimony, their life, their opportunities, their misfortunes, and their choices. There is nothing you could've done to change their life or their death. These things were in their hands, and ultimately in God's hands. They lived the life they chose to live. And death, at its appointed time found them in whatsoever condition they decided to be in at that time. You, my dear friend, have not been granted the power to change an individuals appointment with death. You cannot pray a person into a new perspective. Of course, you can and should pray for your loved ones but the decisions they make are just that, their decisions. Witchcraft/psychic prayers force an individual into the will of another. We have to be spiritually mature enough to not expect our prayers to manipulate, dominate, or intimidate an individual into doing what we feel is best for them. As your family member lived their life, they made the decisions they chose to make. Their life's choices were ultimately theirs to make, and their death was in God's hands. So, could you have prayed more, fasted longer, invited them to church more frequently? Yes. But you still could not change their destiny. This is when you have to have peace with the sovereignty of God. He is the righteous Judge. If Father said their time was up, then their time was up. We love and respect God's judgments enough to know they are faithful and infinitely wise. By the time your loved one left this earth they experienced Father's new mercies daily, His grace, the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the chance to repent, and change. Prayerfully, they took this opportunity. Whether they did or didn't, is not something you have power over. But trust our Lord, He gave them plenty of time and opportunity to live for Him. Your love doesn't even scratch the surface of the amount of love Father has for them; if He said it is over, then it is over. You've done all you could do, and now the rest is up to God.


"You've done all you could do, and now the rest is up to God."




3. If you drown in grief, you're missing the point of their life.

I grew up in Brooklyn, and boy did a lot of my friends get killed! It happened very often and was always tragic. To keep myself from falling into depression or becoming utterly hopeless about our future, I created a coping mechanism. I thought one day, "If all I can do is cry about their death, then their life was in vain." Instead of focusing on the tragedy of their death, I changed my focus to the purpose of their life. The first question I asked myself was, "Why did God allow us to be in each others lives during their years on earth?" Sometimes we get so caught up in grief that we miss the value in the connection we had with them. Instead of reflecting on all you lost, think about all you gained from having them in your life. What did god want you to learn from their story, and how can their story enrich yours? The second question I'd ask myself is, "What can I learn from their lives?" It is no coincidence that you knew this individual and were close enough to witness their final years on earth. What can you learn from the life they lived? What should you do differently or what should you do the similarly? Another good question to ask yourself is, "If they had it to do all over again, what would they have done differently?" Take your answer to that question and apply it to your life. Do what they should've done. Avoid and reject all the bad they did, and maintain the legacy of the good. Focusing on the valuable lessons you witnessed from watching their story unfold is a blessing to your story. So, cry and grieve but also remember to thank God for connecting you to them and allowing you to be apart of their life and story for the time you were.


"Sometimes we get so caught up in grief that we miss the value in the connection we had with them."





4. Family is God's greatest creations!

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3-4

I remember sitting in the backseat of a car a few nights after my dad passed away. I thought about the fact that although he was gone, his children carried his DNA. While he's no longer here, the best parts of his legacy continue through his children. We can no longer see him however, we can look in the mirror and be reminded of his features. We are an extension of him and we are the greatest thing he left behind. Because he believed in the beauty of family, a part of him will always live on in the earth. His posterity must make sure that the best parts of him continue. I finally got it! Family isn't a burden and children aren't an inconvenience. To have a family and to have children is a blessing straight from the Almighty Creator. In making man in His image, God gave us the ability to create people who would bear our image and our name. How beautiful?! Family is totally worth all the poopy pampers, sleepless nights, and time given. It is never a loss, only an ignorant mind (like I had) sees it that way. The Bible says (in Psalm 127:3), "Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the LORD, The fruit of the womb a reward." Your children are a heritage, gift and reward straight from the Lord Himself! Your family is a supernatural blessing. When loss takes place in your family, it is normal to grieve. However, remember how blessed you are to be an extension of that person, to have known them intimately, and to have shared life with them. God gave you to them as a gift, a reward, and a heritage. Sometimes, our family members aren't always the people we share DNA with. We can be estranged from our biological families for various reasons, and sometimes the people who affect our lives the most are not our blood relatives. That's just fine! God gave you a tailor-made family to replace the biological one. So, it may not be your father, or your mother. Maybe it's in-laws, a sibling in Christ, or a co-worker. The facts of this article don't change. However you were connected to them, God blessed you to know them, and He blessed them to know you. You have reasons to grieve, but you also have reasons to be thankful and rejoice. You can move forward and heal as you cherish the memories you shared with them and the things you learned from their life. You did all you could've done, now the rest is up to God. They weren't perfect, but who is? They lived life the best they could, and their story is now a tool the Lord can use to change the trajectory of your family and loved ones for the better. The other side of grief is a place of wisdom, growth, fruitfulness, and peace. God is faithful to get you there.


"Your family is a supernatural blessing. When loss takes place in your family, it is normal to grieve. However, remember how blessed you are to be an extension of that person, to have known them intimately, and to have shared life with them."


Let's pray:

"Father in the name of Jesus, I pray you help every person reading this to feel your presence in their time of sorrow. I ask Lord that you would be their comforter, provider, and healer. I pray that you mend their broken hearts and restore their hope for the future. We thank you for those you've allowed to be in our lives. We know you are good, and mercy and lovingkindness endures to 1,000 generations. You are only True, Faithful, and Holy. You are worthy to be praised even in the midst of our deepest sorrow. I bind and cast out all demons of hopelessness and I pray for peace among the bereaved, in the name of Jesus. I bind and cast out all confusion and I pray for wisdom to arise among them, in the name of Jesus. Father, in the name of Jesus let you grace, mercy, hope, love, and presence strengthen them during this time and for the rest of their lives. Give them peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus' name. Lord, please make it all make sense to them by and by. In Jesus' name we pray, amen!"



 

Over the past year, those in our ministry family have lost loved ones. I dedicate this post to Carla, Kataya, Clayton, and Jocelin. To all those who lost a loved one who we didn't get the opportunity to hear about, I give you all my deepest sympathy. Amen.











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makaylalindsay95
05 ene

Hi this is Makayla, I really love and appreciate this blog on grief. In February 2021, I lost my father to Covid 19 and while grieving his loss I also had to fight covid with the help of my mom. The last time I saw him was Friday, February 12, 2021 and one week later I got a call from my mother that he was gone. I was 19 at the time and I genuinely felt guilty. I felt that I didn't pray enough, and my mom felt that if she tried another method to get him checked earlier then maybe he would still be here. But to read this and see that there was really nothing we could do…

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Contestando a

Thank you for sharing this with us Makayla. I pray for you and your family's continued peace in the name of Jesus.

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