The sharp edge of grief came into my life when my son, Lucas, lost his life to cancer.
It was a sudden, brief battle for him, and the beginning of a season of life I certainly did not wish to enter. The utter devastation that fills your world when a loved one dies is almost indescribable and for a time, it is also unbearable. Most people traveling this journey of life, death, and grief, just long for the pain to stop. Then we don’t want it to stop, because that will mean we forget, or it will mean we don’t miss our loved one as much. The path of grief is confusing and overwhelming, and we search for answers or SOMETHING to hold on to just to get us through another day.
A few months after Lucas died, I asked a friend who is a pastor if she would consider hosting a Bible study about grief. I knew the time of grief would be a struggle. I needed and wanted some direction for my faith, and a resource for my remaining children as well. I love God deeply, but could not make sense of the hurt and pain that He had allowed us to feel.
My friend said she would think about the Bible study, and do some searching to see what resources were available. I know God was at work, as within just a couple weeks, she called to tell me a chaplain at the hospital had been feeling a burden concerning people going through times of grief. He was planning to start a support group for grief based on a Christian resource.
I was truly thankful and attended some of the meetings. The group had a video and workbook curriculum, and the facilitator and his wife were compassionate and kind. I found strength in knowing that others had walked the same path, and I was not alone. The sessions were very helpful, and it was clear that healing could be found. It did not take away the pain, but it gave me hope that I could survive as others had before me.
The support group sessions ended and another cycle was scheduled to begin 6 weeks or so after that time. I had a friend who had lost her husband 4 or 5 months before Lucas died. I remember seeing her at the funeral. The pain on her face was evident. I later learned that was her first time back to that funeral home since her husband had died. I contacted her to see if she would be interested in attending the support group.
Again, God took the lead. She was hesitant to attend, as she is a very private type person. She soon agreed to try one session. As we came to the first session of the group, we were the only participants. No other members came for the entire cycle of sessions. My friend may not have continued attending the group, and certainly would not have shared if there had been others in attendance. What a blessing and honor it was to be able to sit with her through each session. Much healing took place in both our hearts as we shared, and cried and laughed those 12 weeks.
I firmly believe that even the worst of events can be helpful to another’s healing, whether it be from a loss, a divorce, an addiction. I have to believe that good can come. I cannot bring back my son, and I believe I will carry the pain of his loss with me until I die. In the midst of my journey, God has sent another friend who lost her husband a year after I lost my son. We share, we laugh, we cry, and we walk this path together. In sharing my pain, I am receiving a blessing of healing as well.Tags: grief, hope