Grief sucks... I tried to think of a better way to open up this post, but truly I've got nothing else. Grief is uncomfortable, often times completely unexpected, and hard. There's no time frame for it, in fact, often times it starts when we least expect it and continues for an indefinite amount of time. And there are not many people that know what to say or do in times of grief. Despite having faced my own unexpected grief in life, when the tables are turned and someone is in need during their time of mourning I struggle to know how to love them well. I sometimes wrestle with my own confusion, not able to wrap my mind around the purpose or plan behind the loss has occurred.
You see, just over 5 months ago my family (or soon to be family) lost a great man. My future father-in-law became very sick one morning and by that afternoon he was dancing and singing in the presence of our King. It's been a journey of more questions than answers, and having the privilege of encouraging the man that I love (and who will soon be my husband) that it's okay to feel whatever he's feeling. It's OKAY to cry, it's OKAY to get angry, it's OKAY to miss someone you love being here on earth with you all the while knowing they are in a better place with God. Some days I think grief should be easier for me because of what I do each day, but then I remember I too am human, there are no powers that protect me from the wave of emotions of grieving. Praise God for that, despite the discomfort I find that so much strength and faith comes out of allowing myself just to mourn sometimes.
In addition to losing my future father-in-law, my fiance's family faced another loss in the last week. A close family friend, a man considered to be like a second father to my fiance was killed in a tragic accident. Nearly 5 months to the day of losing his dad, my guy faced the loss of another man that he truly admired, and without warning. I think sometimes what makes grief the hardest is watching the people you love grieve, and knowing that they have to, they have to face the waves of emotions and find comfort in the fact that God's plans are better than anything we could ever imagine.
As hard as it was some days enduring the unexpected loss my family faced 6 1/2 years ago, I can see how God has used that to be able to love and comfort my fiance through this time. I see how my sister, who lost her baby has been able to encourage my guy, and the comfort he has in being open with her about his own grief. Despite grief being hard, I think the most beautiful product from it is how God intertwines lives and experiences to encourage each other, to love one another, even if it's a complete stranger.
Another man was hurt in that same accident that took the life of my fiance's family friend. He is facing a long road to recovery, and one of the most beautiful things I've seen come out of this situation is the love and support for this man. The family that lost their husband, their father, their grandfather has set up a way to help this man as he journeys thru his own recovery. Please consider giving to the Townsend family, although you may know nothing about this man or this situation, if you have faced a journey with grief consider this as being a way you can "pay it forward." A way you can give knowing how difficult it can be going through the motions of mourning.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18