There is a season for everything. A time to mourn and a time to dance. Just a little over one month ago, my beloved mother went home to be with the Lord. Surprisingly, I found myself leaping for joy when the nurse called me to let me know Mom had left us. I had such relief that Mom was released from a body riddled with painful cancer and was now healthy and in the presence of God, my stepfather, and her many dearly loved relatives. When the doctor told us four months ago that Mom had terminal cancer, I started reading the book Heaven, by Randy Alcorn (I highly recommend this if you are losing or have lost a loved one) and listening to podcasts about heaven and after-death experiences. This reminded me that my mom’s soul and spirit were not going to die, but rather, MOVE into her next place of residence in heaven. This is a continuation of life – a much better life!
As the weeks have continued, my emotions seem to be all over the place. Little things trigger sadness and really missing her. Watching the Eagles football games – a family tradition that we all did together. Reminiscing walks with Mom in gardens (one of her favorite things to do). Wishing she were here so I could tell her all about the conference I am about to lead and how she can pray for me. Somedays I miss her terribly! Other days, I take joy for the amazing life she lived, the lessons I learned from her, and the many happy memories I have with her. But one thing I am learning is that we all mourn in different ways. Grief has its own personality. Sometimes it plays out in unexpected ways. But as I take walks this fall and see the beautiful Autumn trees with leaves turning gorgeous colors, but then falling to the ground, I am reminded of what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die. . . a time to weep and a time to laugh. . . a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
Whatever season you are in, give yourself permission to go there. Be honest. God can take it. Others may not like it, so let it all out on God. Find a trusted friend who can let you be you and let grief be grief. If you are with a grieving person, remember Ecclesiastes 3:7b – “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ask the Lord how you should respond to the person. Give them a hug and let them walk in their grief journey however it chooses to express itself.
- Sue Corl