In these Grief Diary blogs, I’ve spoken about my experience of grieving the death of my father. Writing about it has been good for me. Thank you for joining in. This will be my final post in the series and I wish to make one last point: the experience of grief is extremely valuable. That may sound strange, let me explain.
How Grief has Value
First, the sadness over losing a person means that person was important to you. When a void is felt and the emptiness hurts, it is proof that this life had impact. In a quiet, private way, the sadness I feel over losing my dad is honoring him.
Second, this moment gives people an opportunity to love each other. My family pulled together to support Mom, and dear friends came in to serve us in any way they could. Even strangers who saw our grief showed us kindness. And those who attended the funeral or contacted us afterward let us know we are not alone.
And third, losing someone we love brings us face-to-face with the hard facts of life and causes us to ask questions.
Fact 1: Life is short. What is it for? Is there a purpose? How should I live? What has my focus been? What should it be?
Fact 2: Everyone I love will someday die. I don’t know how long I have with them. How should I treat them now?
Fact 3: I will someday die. Is this all there is? What comes next? What do I really believe? Who/what/where is God?
Opportunity for Growth
Grief is an opportunity for personal reflection and growth. It’s an opportunity for people to express real care for one another. It’s an opportunity to honor the one we’ve lost and to recall what we’ve learned from his life.
But it’s even more than that. We have another opportunity to gratefully accept the saving act of Christ. We also have an opportunity to feel a small piece of what God must have felt to choose to offer that sacrifice.
The Ultimate Solution
Grief is an expression of love over a person who has been lost to you. If the relationship was so very strong that you find your heart saying, “I’d do anything to get him back,” or, “I’d be willing to die to let him live,” then you are echoing the passion of God toward his people. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus is called the man of sorrows, because he was the embodiment of perfect love begetting perfect grief.
Our God grieves. And his grief caused him to show his love for us through a selfless sacrificial act that is more than we can imagine giving. He actually chose to take more grief upon himself in order to provide the ultimate solution to grief.
A Fuller Knowledge of God
The greatest value of grief is that it offers us a fuller knowledge of God and the magnitude of his love. The challenge is to live differently because of this knowledge.
It is my prayer that this gift of grief leads me to love more like Christ.