‘Heavenly Father, please just allow my Dad to make it through Christmas’
…that was my prayer in December. By January he had passed away, so I guess it’s now time to grieve right? Nope, now comes the rushing around funeral planning, going to work, supporting the family whilst also completing my studies. There’s no time to grieve, I’m too busy!
So, the day of the funeral has now passed, and everyone is con
tent we gave my Dad a fantastic send off. So, is it now time to grieve? Well I guess so, but actually how do I grieve this? as I’ve never lost a parent before! Suppose this is where the struggle begins. I have many questions to ask God; why have you taken my Dad? Who will give my sister away at her wedding? Why have you not allowed him to witness/become a grandfather to my children?
Maybe I’m being selfish, as the Lord did answer my prayer and allow him to make it through Christmas. Also, he did allow him to live a further 2 years after the diagnosis. I mean after all the bible does say “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away” right?
But I still feel hurt and pain, how long should it last?
I’m well aware of scriptures that speak about the Lord being my comfort and cautions concerning grieving for too long over the will of God. Hmmm, I’m confused and filled with mixed emotions. Fast forward a few months, finally contentment is here as I have now rationalised; Dad served the Lord, he ran a good race and he has now made it.
Truth be told we all grieve in different ways; I had a strong network of people supporting me. This consisted of people in church, at home, friends and at work. Support can be as little as a text to check all is well, that goes a long way. I allowed myself to be open and real with God, expressing how I felt. On bad days expressing my hurt and pain and on good days giving thanks that he’d never left nor forsaken me.
Grief isn’t easy and there’s no special formula as we all grieve differently, but the main thing is being honest with yourself and acknowledging it’s okay to have both good and bad days, as we are only human. In fact, I came to realise the bad days we’re actually the best days, as that’s when I felt God closest to me.
Recall a special time you shared with the individual and keep it close to your heart.
For me it was as my Dad was lay there approaching the end; I began to quote
2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
As I was quoting it, my Dad joined in with me. I felt a sense of peace, although I knew the hour was drawing nigh. I often reflect on other life experiences which we shared like when he taught me how to ride a bike or how proud he was at my graduation, moments like those will never die.
Grief is described as “intense sorrow”, therefore excuse yourself if you have occasions of intense hurt or pain as it’s part of the process. The key thing is to bounce back, and if you can’t do it for yourself do it for your loved one, as they wouldn’t want to see you down and deflated and neither does God.
Remember God takes no pleasure in seeing a wounded soldier.
Instead he wants to see a soldier who appreciates the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Therefore, we need to trust and have faith in him that all things are under his perfect control. He knows and understands what you are going through, It’s not a test or punishment, it’s just life and you have to take the good with the bad but just know he is with you throughout both.
Andrew Nembhard (Birmingham, UK)