WHEN we lost Nathanael I’m sure there were some, perhaps many, who doubted the grief journey we were on. Maybe we grieved too well for some people. All I know is that our grief journey was normal and appropriate and only what it could be for us.
We were simply gifted with the ability to live our reality. We had both grieved deeply before. Grief wasn’t new to us. And the prayers of others, combined with our faith, that God could heal Nathanael at any time if He wanted to, helped very much sufficiently enough. The Lord was our Shepherd, and we had no lack. And yet God also gifted us to enter very deeply into the realm of our sorrow. We were always able to be vulnerable and transparent as persons, as a partnership, and with other people, and we remain amenable to that capacity to this day.
That season of loss gave us an appreciation of a fact, though, which is something that merits stating.
We all grieve differently, and nobody should be judged for the way or the length of time they grieve. There are no rules to adhere to and no verifiable standards with which to checklist in recovering from loss. It can be said of nobody that they are good at it. If people suffer well they are gifted that grace from God, usually as an advent from bitter life experience. We can, of course, help the process by being courageously honest by plying faith. And nobody can legitimately say, ‘get over it!’
There is no right or wrong time to do anything when in grief; only what you know in your heart is right. You can’t grieve the wrong way, so long as you do grieve.
If you’re sorrowful to the point of frequently not wanting to go on you’re not weaker than the person getting on with their life after a month or two. If you’ve lost your life partner and the pressure is on to sell-up, don’t be pressured. Allow the process of grief to be respected. Don’t feel guilty. (There is too much unwarranted guilt.) Make up your rules, as they only apply to you anyway. The best piece of advice I ever received was ‘be gentle with yourself’, for God made you, and if anyone should respect you it should be you. So, be encouraged, the grief won’t last forever. We all grieve differently, and nobody should be told they are doing it wrong.