Pastor’s Corner: Grief

Rebekah Anderson standing at the grave of her grandmother.

May 15, 2019

Grief has a strange property: we rarely mourn one loss at a time. Each new bereavement summons the memories of those we have suffered before. When we weep for the person who has just died, at least some of those tears fall for those who have gone in times past.

With every new loss, we grieve every loss.

It could overwhelm us. Our life could be simply a rising tide of grief, sorrow steadily threatening the solid ground of our serenity. As distant earthquakes spawn great waves, a loss at some remove may give rise to the emotional tsunami that sweeps fully over our heart.

How do we manage?

The mercy of grief returning is that it comes with the experience of having grieved before. We know that the sharpest sorrow will fade. We know that the high-water mark of pain will retreat. We made it through before. We know we can make it through again.

Yet if new loss revives old loss, so that we never grieve alone, we also know that we never grieve alone. The years give us accustomed shoulders to moisten with our tears. New arms embrace us, too, so that more hands support us through the deepest waters of the waves. We never grieve alone.

We never grieve alone, since God’s arms surround all those human arms, all those expressions of love and support, all those notes and flowers and silent presence when it’s needed. God holds us fiercely amidst the racing waters, and never lets us go.

With every new loss, we grieve every loss.

With every new loss, we do not grieve alone.

Whatever your state of sorrow (deep, shallow, or none at all), may God’s love enfold you today.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Photo by Eric Anderson

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on May 15, 2019

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