“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” ~
Grief is such a multifaceted creature. It is gut-wrenching sadness. It is an emptiness. It is the feeling of incredible, irretrievable loss. And it is also the mother of fear.
Have you ever seen children or teens dealing with the sudden loss of someone they loved? One of the things you see operative in their lives is fear. They cling to parent, sibling, or other loved ones. They cling not only for support and comfort; they cling because they are mortally frightened that the one to whom they cling will be taken away from them as well.
When that type of fear pours into a person’s life, it becomes incredibly difficult to move on. The one who is trapped in that cycle of fear, anguish, and depression cannot possibly understand the messages others send telling them that they should be feeling better, that they should return to their “normal” lives, that everything will be all right.
You know what? It won’t be all right. Not for the ones who are being consumed with the negative dimensions of grief. Yes, we know that, in the long run, there can be some return to normalcy in their lives; however, as they are in the grips of grief, it is impossible to consider that things will ever be all right, ever be the same again.
Days like today speak to the idea that things will never be the same again. Valentine’s Day celebrates love between two people. All a grieving person can see is that the love in their life has been lost.
We might know friends who are in the pits of grief. We might not understand why they speak the way they do or act the way they do. We do not understand because it was not our loved one that was taken away, it was theirs. We need to try to put ourselves in their shoes so that we can give them the support that they need.
Sometimes, friends will cut off their relationships with us after losing someone they love. They do not do it because of anything we have said or done. They do it because they are afraid of losing us as well. So, instead of going through the pain of losing us, they cut themselves off from us so that their emotional attachment will no longer be there.
Hang in there with your friends. Let them know that you care for them. Reach out and offer support. Offer your company if they wish. But do not force yourself upon them. In their state, their fear may be keeping them from you. Pray for them and be there when they ask you to come back into their lives. Fear is strong; but, love is stronger. Be the loving friend that they always counted upon.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who grieve the loss of a loved one or loved ones, that God may fill their hearts with His consolation and love.