At some point in our lives, we inevitably cross the bridge of losing someone close to us. I have experienced the loss of many friends over the years. I’ve also lost all my grandparents and…well…I am almost 50 so it’s not out of the question. What’s puzzling to me is I lost my sister to a rare form of brain cancer that consumed her in a matter of months. She was 47 and by every stretch of imagination, should have lived longer. Our family, as dysfunctional as we are, pulled together to make my sister’s last days manageable.
Personally, I have a fantastic church family and many friends provided great support through that journey. But, when it comes to me mourning personally, I have to make something clear. I had moments where I would break down and ask God why and didn’t seem to get an answer. At the time it was frustrating. But I realized that more than anything it was a time we’re I could release a lot of things inside of me to the Lord that needed to go. I’m going to be vulnerable here so bear with me. I didn’t have a great relationship with my sister for the last ten years or so. She isolated herself from me and I regret not making more of an effort to connect with her. Honestly, when we were young adults and trying to figure life out I looked up to her because she was smart, had a good handle on life and seemed to have it figured out.
My mourning was and is still being experienced in this way: I grieve not having the opportunity to have a deeper relationship with my sister. Actually, I could say I’m mad because the enemy has stolen this from me and my sister. In my mourning, I needed to experience the sadness and the pain of this loss and I felt it fully and broke down several times. One moment I had with my sister she was singing this ridiculous song from a sitcom in the 80’s whole-heartedly and I saw my little sister, like she was nine years old and scared because she didn’t know why this was happening. This image is carved in my mind and it is a tormenting memory.
The good thing is I don’t have to dwell on it. I know she made her peace with everyone and the Lord through her last days of suffering. I am confident that she resides with the Lord now. I know that God has allowed this tragedy to have some GOOD fruit. Romans 8:28 says – That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. That is an incredibly comforting truth. I’m thankful my brother has been awakened and now on fire for the Lord through this tragedy!
Here’s some advice for us when people we love are in a season of mourning:
- Allow people to cry and release tears – it’s healthy, cleansing, and healing! God said there was a time to mourn in Ecclesiastes!
- More times than not a hug speaks volumes more than words.
- Simply ask people what they need or how you can help. Acts of kindness will never fail when your motives are sincere.
Papa God, I thank You for these sobering experiences in life that You use to bring revelation, healing, and maturity to us.