(This post was written two years ago. My mom had died the spring before. You may wonder why I’m posting this now. That’s easy. More than likely, someone who follows this blog has experienced a loss this past year or knows someone who has. That’s life. I’m posting this for their encouragement. And it might even encourage some of you to make this Christmas extra special because we never know what is going to happen.
I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s Christmas. But it’s not all wonderful for everyone.)
How was your Christmas?
Mine was good but hard. Good because I have people I love and people who love me, hard because I missed my mom so much.
There is a verse ( I Corinthians 13:11) in the Bible that states:
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man (meaning an adult), I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
I interpret this as meaning that as an adult, I need to talk like an adult, think like an adult, and reason like an adult. I think this verse might well be a way to handle grief as well. I am not suggesting it is childISH to grieve, not at all. But childish grieving will keep us stuck in our grief.
So what does adult talk sound like in a grieving person?
I think that first, our words need to be honest. As we grieve, we don’t camouflage our pain with words that are meant to relieve other people’s uncomfortableness. If others are uncomfortable with our tears, so be it. I have no problem expressing my grief. I don’t express it to many and I don’t express it all the time, but when I need to, I do.
What does adult thought look like in grief?
This is harder because our thoughts, as opposed to our words, are so much more difficult to corral and keep in check. Thoughts are unpredictable, emotionally charged, and birthed in the deepest chambers of our emotions. They unexpectantly emerge when we least expect them. And in grief, it is all that much more complicated. If we are going to handle our grief in an adult manner, it means we recognize that our thoughts are going to be all over the place at times, because…….
Grief is all-invasive.
Understanding how our thoughts work is the first step in thinking through our grief as an adult.
But this last one, adult reason, is where the victory lies.
When we lose someone, even if we told ourselves, as I did, that we will have nothing to regret, we still do.
Why is that?
I think it’s because we know in our heart of hearts there was always more we could do. Try as we might to convince ourselves, we know that in almost every case when we say we did all we could do, it simply isn’t true.
We are human after all.
That’s because there is always more. I would love to know that when I leave this earth, I would have no regrets but that would mean I made no mistakes. As a believer in Christ, knowing that only Christ HImself was perfect, I know that’s not true.
But making mistakes is exactly WHY I follow Christ. Without Him, I would make so many more.
I don’t believe that we use reason to excuse our mistakes, however. But if we can “reason”, we can at least find some solace in knowing we were never going to be perfect in the first place. We wouldn’t have needed a Saviour, would we now if that were true.
I wish I could say I always get these three steps right. But, of course, I don’t.
That’s when I remind myself that I’m an adult. I’m an adult believer in Christ, which means there are mature ways to handle life. And grief is very much a part of life.
I hope this helps some of you who are also going through difficult times, whether it’s grief or something else.
We can deal with our grief without dwelling in our grief.
We can learn and grow through our grief. We can bend and not break.
God bless and have a good day.