Our church recently lost a long-standing elder who was loved by many. His wife and he had been together since they were teens, and at the time of his death, her beloved husband was 85 years old. His widow, and those who knew him, loved him, and were loved by him, are grieving.
Who is this God who allows suffering, loss, and pain? Why did He let you be tossed into the miry pit of misery anyway? If that is how God works, why would you want to have anything to do with Him? For one important reason: in this hurting and broken world, there is no one else who can lift you out and bring you through.
In Living with Grief, Pastor Kristian Kincaid talks about three major impacts of grief: emotional, physical, and spiritual. The impacts of grief occur when the mind and body are thrown out of what psychology calls “homeostasis,” or balance. Realistically, no one grieves in strict outlined stages or at the same pace. Grief often lingers long after losing a loved one. For believers, grief’s impacts are diminished with the comfort of Christ.
Recently, I’ve been calling my friends from home, talking to them a lot about loneliness. This holiday season was my first without having my parents or close friends nearby. Although 2020 marks the start of my first full year in St. Louis, it’s also my first year being over four hundred miles away from family. My cell phone calls to Indiana and Michigan are the closest I get to genuine interactions with my loved ones as I continue to meet new people and develop deeper friendships where I am. In all of this, you could say my loneliness is a form of grief: the grief of losing what and who I grew up with.