by Deb Eisenbrown
I first experienced grief when I was 12. My dad, only 50, died of a sudden heart attack. I remember feeling the horrible sense of “no more” and “absolute absence”. No more hugs – no more long talks. He wouldn’t be there to teach me about boys. How could I go to father-daughter dances now? Who would give me away at my wedding? Indeed, to my 12 year-old mind, love itself had “left the building”.
I hated special days. My birthday — just 9 days after his death—was horrible. Holidays weren’t the same. I was oblivious to my mother’s pain — but she was acutely aware of mine. A wise woman, she would talk to me about God’s love—love for my father who was now with Him in heaven—and love for me even in my pain. Lamentations 3:22-26 was one of the meaningful scriptures that shaped my grief journey:
The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.
Much later in life, I lost my husband of almost 40 years. Again I felt that agonizing, suffering pain of loss — of no more and absolute absence. Yet this time I had hope deep down in my soul put there years prior by a wise mother and the unfailing truth of the Bible.
When you are desperately hurting, it is good to wait silently for the salvation of the Lord for HE IS GOOD AND HE BRINGS HOPE.
Grief can be a lonely journey through uncharted territories and I’ve found it good not to travel alone. Healing came over time through many small gestures of kindness. God’s goodness and hope were exhibited in the caring friends who came alongside me. It was really hard sitting in a church pew by myself. Friends — other widows — came to sit beside me in solidarity and support.
I found a grief support group at my church to be comforting and encouraging. The Care Ministry of Fellowship Bible Church hosts a Grief Recovery Support Group using proven GriefShare® materials. The next session will begin in February. Please find more information and watch for the upcoming dates on our website: https://fellowshipwaco.org/grief-support/ .