There seems to be a lot of grief around me in the last few weeks. The letter below I just sent out to someone who recently lost a family member. It is not to a close friend, just a recent acquaintance really – someone I prayed with. Someone who does not yet know all the places grief can take you or leave you.
November 5, 2013
Grief is a strange thing. It never happens quite the way we expect it to and it works differently for everyone. It’s okay if your grief isn’t “normal”. It’s yours and you are entitled to it.
I read once that the normal period of grief is 18 months to 7 years depending on the nature of the relationship. The problem is most folks want you to “get over it” in 6 months or less. You don’t have to “get over it,” you just have to go through it. And it’s sneaky. You never know where, how or when it is going to descend on you. That’s okay. It won’t always be that way.
I lost my dad a little over 2 years ago and it taught me so much about grief that none of my previous experience or training even touched on. Not that I have “completed” the process, but I have grown to understand a lot about myself and my relationships. It’s amazing what will spark a memory or bring on The Sadness.
Fortunately, we do not mourn as those who have no hope. Though we may walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we don’t walk alone.
I wrote a few things over the last couple of years beginning the day my dad died. Mostly it was for myself and to some degree my siblings. You can find it at jimtheyouthguy.com and click on the Grief link. Sometimes it helps to see and hear that someone else has felt the same way. When you said, “It sucks,” it reminded me of the letter I wrote to my siblings on the first Father’s Day without dad.
Yes , it sucks. And it sucks in ways you don’t even understand yet. It’s okay. It won’t always be that way.
May our Father supply all Grace and Peace to you and your family at this time of need.