In my life and in ministry, I have learned a lot about grief. What I have learned that is most important about grief can be summed up in a few sentences:
Grief has no rules… and that is okay.
Grief will be a most unexpected companion.
Grief is real and a sign of love.
Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time.
Grief can become a cause for gratitude.
Grief can become a way we honor those we have lost.
Grief tells us we are human but being human is who God created us to be — and only a little lower than the angels.
When others are grieving, what we do is usually more important than what we say – and the most important thing to do is simply show up with love and care. (While well-meant in the saying, God did not need another angel, she or he may be in a better place but those who grieve the loss are not. An “I love you” or “I’m sorry” and, where appropriate, a hug says it all.)
It is okay to grieve a loss even as we celebrate the life of the person we have lost. We can say “Thanks Be to God” for those we have loved and for the perfect healing they now experience in the presence of God as children of God.
We can say, also, “O Lord, be with us, too, as we memorialize their lives in our own, and as we go forward with our lives, learning to trust and love You as your very own children.”
Thanks be to God.
Grace and peace,