Grief is a silent killer and those who cause it, often pull the trigger.
Having lost a few loved ones myself, I have had the experience of having to survive this invisible pain that grief introduces.
In one phone call my heart shattered. I told my grandfather I would call him back as soon as the hospital staff got him ready to leave the hospital room. I had called in because I had heard he was in the hospital and I lived an ocean away from the country he lived in. I had a brief conversation with him prior to the callback promise. In that conversation he mentioned he had suffered an emphysema attack. He was recovering and was soon to leave the room and go to his home. I was so positive that he was going to be well.
I waited a few minutes while sitting on a chair in my small apartment in Los Angeles. I finally called back to speak with him again and my father picked up the phone and in a very confused tone, he proceeded to tell me that my grandfather had a complication and while the nurses were getting him ready to leave the hospital, something happened and my grandfather died.
I don’t have words to express what I had suffered that afternoon. One moment I was assured he was going home and the next he was no longer here and I was unable to speak to him or let alone go to his funeral.
The mind is often a field and whatever you plant there, you will also reap. I had no idea what I had planted in mine to reap this sudden moment. Something was taken away from me so quickly and I simply wasn’t ready to let it go. Life is a game of give and take; letting go and holding on.
I remember sitting on this grey and white chair I had for a few minutes after the news and simply thinking, ” What if I had not hang up the phone or what if I was placed on loud speaker while they were getting him ready?”
“Should I have hang up the phone or talked a bit longer, what if I knew that this would be my last conversation with the man who gifted me the only upright piano I have ever had?”
I never understood what had happened. I don’t know why things happened they way they happened. A big part of me would have liked to have had at least a little bit of a warning so that I could prepare myself for this sudden moment.
I have had so many sudden moments that simply have taken so much from me. I don’t want any moments like the sudden ones anymore. I had to come to terms with myself regarding his death and I had to place God’s words over my own. See, it’s not the good moments in the life of a Christian that defines their faith; rather it is the moments you have nothing to reason with. In these so called sudden moments, my faith has been put to the test and I can either be what I am called to be by God, believe what He says about the situation or I can let the enemy attempt conquer ground in my life.
People often say God won’t give you anything you could not handle, and I believe that what He says prevails over what people say. I started looking at theses moments as opportunities to get closer to someone bigger than me, a purpose bigger than myself and I allowed God’s strength to rest on me because I had none of my own.
A couple of years prior to this experience my two year old niece had tragically died. I had just started coming to closure with that ending and the next began. One year after my grandfather passed, my grandmother who was left being a widow also passed. They say in Brazil, that she died of a broken heart. I could not attend either funerals and to this day I wish I had been able to.
Everytime I’m tempted to be discontent with these experiences I had, I keep in mind how God’s heart breaks for us everyday. Unless your heart is broken completely, the wellspring of life cannot flow from it. I believe that sometimes God allows hearts to break so that we can turn ourselves into the wellspring of life. We search more, we become moldable like clay in the potter’s hand. Maybe His plans for us are bigger than the circumstances we experienced.
I learned that the only way through is to surrender to something bigger, by doing this we get to experience resurrection. We get to give God an opportunity to rest upon us and make us stronger as the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
If you have experienced any form of grief, I truly hope you turn your grief towards God so he can turn His love towards you. He promises in Isaiah 61:3 “To bestow a crown of beauty instead of ahes.”
Father who is heaven,
Empower us to trust you in moments we do not understand grace
Guide us to a place of peace and comfort
and keep us close to you.
Help us to feel the warmth of you love
and bless us in moments of grief.
Please hold our hearts for us in moments we cannot hold ourselves.