Reflections on Suffering and Grieving - 1
Monday July 11, 2022
I read this recently - and thought: how true.
Our culture is good at celebrating the wins but not so much at mourning the losses. ~Lisa Appelo
And especially these days… It’s finally summer, after all. And that means long sunny and warm days and evenings - months to holiday, to travel, to visit and be visited - lazy hazy days of relaxing and having fun. Celebrating the wins.
Who wants to read about, even think about, hard times.
But the thing is, even as I write, many MANY people in our world today, this day, are in pain, in despair, grieving. There were 4 deaths and more than 300 injured when a wooden bullfight stand collapsed here in Colombia. 51 migrants are dead and almost 2 dozen were found seriously ill in an abandoned over-heated truck in Texas. At least 20 were killed and hundreds were injured as a Russian missile blew up a busy shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. Wherever we look, every single day, people all over the world are having to mourn their losses.
So, like it or not, we need to think and read about hard times.
It’s the same, yet different, and then again the same for everyone, I think.
I’m speaking of trials and suffering, loss and death, grieving and the rebuilding of our lives.
It’s the same because, at some point in our lives here on earth, we ALL go through it. NO ONE is born, lives and dies without being hit at one moment or another with some kind of suffering and loss. NO ONE.
But then it’s different, because everyone’s particular life circumstances are different. Some people lose a life-partner, others a child, others a parent, others a sibling. Some lose their health, their job, their home. Some lose their security, their joy, their hope. Some lose not just one of these, but many all at the same time - or one close after the other.
And then, it’s the same again, because we all need to go through the process of grieving who and what is no more - and then rebuilding our lives around the loss and the emptiness to find new beauty and delight in life.
Sometimes, life circumstances hit you like wave after wave of ocean water crashing into you, knocking you over, swirling you around, barely letting you catch your breath - over and over and over again. Until, one day you find yourself washed up on some distant shore that you don’t know or even recognize, battered, weary, confused, out of breath and only semi-conscious.
It takes awhile, a long while sometimes, just to regain full consciousness, and to muster up enough energy to open your eyes and look around to where the rough waves of life have left you.
And then, it takes even longer to actually get up, check out the new surroundings, and figure out how to make a new life in this strange new place.
So, it’s like I said: it’s the same, yet different and then again the same for everyone. The particular life circumstances are different, all difficult and exhausting in their own way - the process and the time frames for healing and restoring are different - but the reality of suffering and loss and grief is the same for all of us.
Thank God that we don’t have to walk through our valleys of shadows and death alone: our Heavenly Father and Shepherd walks with us in our deepest darknesses, close to us, leading us through all the way - His authority is our strength and our peace, and the comfort of His love takes away our fear. “I’ll never be lonely, for You are near.”