I never would have thought that at the age of 19, I would know what it meant to grieve. Grief is such a strong emotion and many times we don’t exactly have the words that entirely encapsulate it.
Grief: deep and poignant distress caused by bereavement.
Death being inevitable is a hard truth that though we all know, we find it hard to accept when it happens before our very eyes. We can’t imagine the death of a dear one, the thought of it brings so much displeasure. But what happens when death shows up at the least expected hour or when it snatches the very ones we love out of arms? How do we handle such events? How do we take this hard pill to swallow? I hope the subsequent lines of this article answers the above questions.
I lost one of my closest friends at the beginning of this year and for the first time, I knew exactly what it meant to grieve. It’s been six whole months since his passing, it still feels surreal but every day I’m learning and getting stronger. In all honesty, I may not be the best person to write this but I thought to share all that the Lord has been teaching me in this regard. So, please stay with me.
If you’re reading this and have lost someone dear to you, I pray these words comfort you and if you’ve never felt this before, I pray these words to enlighten and strengthen you to be that shoulder for someone who might be going through this. So leggoo!
In the first month of my friend’s passing, it was the hardest time of my life literally. I was saddled with all kinds of emotions, ranging from disbelief, to sadness, to hopelessness. I found it hard to come to terms with the reality that stared me in the face. I kept asking questions, began talking to myself, would randomly call his name in disbelief, and occasionally had outbursts of tears. It was tough but I’m grateful for the process.
The first thing I’ll like to say in dealing with grief is allow yourself feel emotions. Yes, feel every bit of it. Cry if you need to, don’t hold it all up in the name of trying to be strong. During that time I had people who’ll insensitively ask “why are you crying?” or sincerely say “stop crying”, all out of good intentions but it never really helped. Crying doesn’t make you weak, as a matter of fact it’s a sign of strength, a sign that you’re strong enough to confront and embrace those emotions.
The second thing I’ll love to say is to never underestimate the importance of people and friends at such a time like this. People who’ll be there for you are important. People that’ll offer their shoulders for you to cry on and those readily available with comforting hugs. To think that isolation is what you need at a time like this would be very wrong. Choosing to be alone at a time like this would be detrimental to your health. I get that it might be hard, but choose to surround yourself with people with positive vibes. Yes, I said vibes. You need it and if you’re the friend offering comfort, be loaded with positive vibes.Never think that you’re alone in this. Don’t run away from God with the thought that “after all, it happened on your watch”. Click To Tweet
Furthermore, to neglect the place of the Holy Spirit and the word of God would be to lead you amiss. I can boldly say that in my hardest time ‘God was there’. Never think that you’re alone in this. Don’t run away from God with the thought that “after all, it happened on your watch”. He has given us the Holy Spirit, the greatest comforter of all. Comforting us from within, reminding us of our hope and being the endless source of our joy.
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
We have a beautiful reminder from God’s word that those who have slept in the lord will live again! This is our hope, our hope of eternal life. So at times when I was saddled with regrets that I never got the chance to tell my friend goodbye, there was the reminder that we will see again! Oh the joy that followed after. The thing is, it’s not just a beautiful reminder of our hope but it’s also a reminder that there’s work to do, that the world must hear this gospel that has set us free from death! I can’t imagine the pain I would have felt or still be feeling if my close friend had died without believing the gospel then I really don’t know what sort of comfort I would have had. It would have been a regret that will haunt me for years. Thus, as believers we must be proactive in our evangelism, we must always be on the go.
Lastly, there’s an amazing comfort that comes with fellowshipping with other believers. I can’t overemphasize this. There’s a comfort that comes with singing songs together, getting edified and expressing the gifts of the spirit. For me, it was like stopping at a fuel station to be refueled for the journey ahead.
Fellowship kept and still keeps me going. Don’t wallow alone in sorrow or resort to drinking or other harmful habits. Fellowship and pour everything at the feet of Jesus, get edified! Every time you do, you’ll realize that you have grown better and stronger.
I won’t tell you that as you do these you’ll eventually forget what has happened or suddenly have some sort of amnesia but believe me you’ll be better! Months have passed and literally every day I remember my late friend. Prior to this time, when his memory would come, I’d shake my head to try and erase it… but these days, I let them come. Sometimes I end up crying, other times I don’t. But I look back at who I was in January and I can tell you that I’m stronger and it’s not because I held back tears.
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