I look around my world right now and I see a society that is grieving.
There are people grieving the loss of freedom, expectations, incomes, careers, health, and life itself.
I do not consider myself an expert on grief, but unfortunately, I am familiar with it.
One thing I know to be true is that people grieve differently. Some people process things quickly, some slowly. Some mask their hurt with humor, some lash out in anger. Some people want to talk about it, some people want to talk about anything but what they have lost.
When you are grieving, you want other people around you to grieve like you. It is upsetting when you are sad and someone else makes a joke about the situation. There are times people are being so serious and you just want to lighten the mood.
Grief sucks you into your own world and makes it tempting to think only of yourself and your own loss.
I think one of the hardest things to accept about grief is that there is no cure. Sure there are stages to grief and you can cycle through them. But there is no quick cure-all to get over your loss.
There is not a cure, but there is perspective.
Loss is loss. What is hard for one person may not be hard for you. That doesn’t discount the fact that it is hard for them.
Today, as we are isolating and canceling events, plans, work environments, schools—it’s hard. Those are memories that will never be made, incomes that may never recover, and expectations that will never be met. I think we can all admit that is hard.
Today as people all over the world are losing loved ones to a virus that is rapidly spreading—it’s hard. There is no “at least…” when it comes to death. We can choose to focus on the moments we got with a person. We can choose to be grateful for the impact they had on our life and on the world. But when you have experienced the unexpected death of someone you love, you will never be okay with a trite explanation of why they are gone or comforted by the fact that it doesn’t happen to many people.
As I watch people grieve all around me, I hurt. I know the pain of unmet expectations. I know the pain of cancelled plans. I know the finality of death.
I also know the hope of Christ.
I was just going to leave this with a plea to be kind to each other. And really, we need kindness and gentleness right now in our world. But we also need the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We need the peace that only comes from knowing this world is not all there is. We need perspective on eternity. We need to believe in something greater than all the hurt we see around us.
We need to see it in people that call themselves Christians.
We need to give each other grace to grieve our own losses while keeping in mind that others are experiencing loss right now as well. We need to keep in perspective that this quarantine will not last forever, but some of the impact from it will.
It’s okay that it’s hard.
You have permission to grieve your loss.