Grief: Sorrow Shared – Part 2 of 3

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Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

We all meet grief at some point in our lives. There is no right, better, or perfect way to grieve, but sharing our experiences with others can help us in our own journey. For Part 1 of this 3-part series, click here.

Part 2 

During the years of my husband’s paralysis and traumatic-brain-injury issues, it became more and more difficult for me to attend funerals, so I stopped.

I stopped because I knew if I fell apart I wouldn’t be able to carry all of me to the car without dropping something.

It wasn’t the grief of other families that bothered me at funerals. It was the freedom of their loved one who had passed into the presence of Jesus. It was the liberation that person had finally experienced. The severing of painful and unbearable earthly shackles that I …

resented.

That’s hard to confess. It took me a long time to even realize what it was.

I grieved because the husband I’d known was gone, yet wasn’t. I grieved when I visited his facility and he didn’t know me. I grieved anew when COVID quarantines took even the visits away.

Isolation dominated my grief, because there were only certain people I wanted to share it with, and G. Public was not one of them.

Fellow members of a small-group Bible study had come to the out-of-town hospital on the (very late) night of my husband’s accident. They were there, and that was what I needed—their presence.

They knew I didn’t need answers, explanations, or platitudes.

Those who were close to me carried my pain. They didn’t give me advice, try to explain why, or tell me what I should do … though a retired nurse and mother of many told me to rest because I was going to need it. She was right.

As days rolled into months and years, another friend often called from out-of-state, let me cry the ugly cry, and then prayed for me over the phone.

One of the most comforting things spoken to me was, “I understand.” I rarely needed more than that. It somehow helped redistribute the burden without requiring me to respond graciously.

I merely wanted to melt into the floor unnoticed. Disappear into a pew at church and not talk. Not share. Not have to smile and nod. I wanted the music to carry me on the voices of other worshippers as I offered my own sacrifice. A broken heart.

But everyone is not like me. Grief is too personal for generalities.

For some people, it is easier to share with strangers. They find help in grief counseling or in groups at Hospice, nursing homes, or churches.

As time passed, I discovered the double edge of a familiar scripture. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” says Galatians 6:2. It cuts both ways. 

That mandate also applies to those who are suffering. Even as we grieve, we can look outside ourselves and find others we can help. People all around us are in need and in pain, but we may never know it unless we ask God to show us.

We don’t have to bombard them (please don’t). Be sensitive. Find out what they need by asking someone else if necessary. Pour into their lives anonymously. Pray for them.

That is sorrow shared.

One message I received from a friend was signed, “Lifting you up.” She had no idea what those words meant to me.

It turned out that I was not forgotten after all. Even in spite of my self-inflicted solitude.

~

Grief is too personal for generalities. Click To Tweet

If you are someone who finds healing in groups, check with your local church, hospital, Hospice, and nursing homes. You may also find comfort through the following links:

https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/our-programs/support-groups

https://www.griefshare.org/

https://hospicefoundation.org/Grief-(1)/Support-Groups

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6 thoughts on “Grief: Sorrow Shared – Part 2 of 3

  1. Davalynn, I so appreciate your words and thoughts. My sister-in-law has been walking in grief for over a year after the unexpected death of her husband. Your words are an encouragement as I continue to seek to encourage and comfort her on this hard road.

    I said it, but I’ll say it again. I am truly sorry for the loss of your husband and for the road you’re walking. Sending you a hug.

     
     
    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Jeanne. God’s grace has seen me through. I pray your sister-in-law discovers His presence.

       
       
  2. Nancy

    Thank you for this. My younger daughter died on June 27th, and we weren’t prepared for it.
    You’re right, just someone saying, “I’m praying for you” means so much.
    I have little interest in things, but God is holding me up. He held me up, He is my strong tower, I ran to Him, and He kept me safe. Many or the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19. And HE DOES.
    The only interests I really have now are keeping the plants healthy and alive, that were from her funeral, and doing some kind of plastic canvas project that I might leave at her gravesite. I”m also getting rest by reading GODLY Christian fiction, super clean Christian fiction.

     
     
    1. davalynn

      Such heartache, Nancy. The Lord does deliver us and is so faithful. Thank you for sharing.

       
       
  3. Nancy

    I meant to say: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
    Praise JESUS. My Lord and my God.
    Romans 10:8-13

     
     
    1. davalynn

      Amen, Nancy.

       
       

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