weep with those who weep

When a loved one dies, we grieve. Grief is natural. Grief is human. The Apostle Paul wished that we would not grieve as those with no hope, by which he meant that our grief is not hopeless grief. It is not a despair with no bottom, a pit of infinite darkness, although it feels like that for many weeks. Ours is a grief with hope built in. We nonjudgmentally entrust the departed into the care of a loving God. We hope to see them again. 

We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. Greif is natural. Paul never meant to suggest that we not grieve. Our bodies and minds instinctively know how to grieve, just as our digestive systems know how to expel spoiled food. Vomiting is not pleasant, but it purges and cleanses. The ripping sorrow of grief is even more unpleasant, and much longer lasting, but it too purges the psychic system. 

The best gift we can give the bereaved is presence. Simply be. Listen. Hold if appropriate. We must never try and stem the flood of grief or seek to cover it with medications, alcohol, or religious platitudes.

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter

Posted on May 3, 2021, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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