Friday, April 22, 2005

GRIEF/MOURNING: Reserved for Those Left Behind!

Heavy-laden Pebble Droppers [Matthew 11:28-29; Love, Weariness]
Barney Visser lost a son to an inherited illness. It devastated him. To compensate for the grief he wrote and published a memorial booklet in his son’s honor. The book is titled Chad and is authored by “Dad.” In the book Visser shares a poignant illustration concerning the handling of grief; the following paraphrases that ...

Grief is like carrying a backpack filled with pebbles. Each pebble is like an particle of grief. “We must carry that pack the rest of our lives,” Visser says. “There are pebbles in some … pockets we’ll never … get rid of.”

The objective for the grieving is to get through each day, one day at a time, dropping pebbles as we go, and one pebble at a time. If we don’t, we will become stooped and heavy-laden, unable to accept other burdens life has to offer. As time goes on, we will feel the load grow lighter.

[Barry Visser, Chad, © Barry Visser, 1998, p.11]
How Deep Is Your Grief [Revelation]
Watching the second episode of NBC's new mini-serial, Revelations, was not as "edge of the seat" as episode one, but the personal reward was worth the whole television season.

Co-star Dr. Richard Massey, an astro-physicist, (co-star Bill Pullman) is patiently hearing-out a nun he'd just met, when the subject of death comes up. Massey offhandedly refers to his daughter's murder at the hands of Satanists, expressing the grief he feels.

The nun, a close friend of Sister Jo (co-star Natascha McElhone), responds, "Grief is God's way of letting us know the true depth of the love we have for the one over whom we grieve. To the extent we love, that is the extent to which we grieve." [my paraphrase; I refuse to buy a transcript and I don't have Tivo].

This is deep, introspective, and reflective. Think about those who do not grieve when loved ones die; may we say they do not grieve because the did not love? Think about those who grieve deeply and long; may we say they loved deeply and genuinely?

Think now about the Son of God on the Cross of Calvary dying for the sins of the whole world; may we say that the Father grieved perfectly over the death of His son because He loved perfectly? How deep is that love?

TIMES GONE BY! [2 Samuel 12:19-23; other topics - Death, Guilt, Regret]
I was told of a woman who had been hung up on by her best friend; she was so shocked that she sat for a long time just listening to the dial tone. It wasn’t until the phone company determined the line was dead and disconnected her that she broke down and cried.

Some people are like that when they lose a loved one. They just can’t accept what has happened, so they go through each day listening to a line that has gone dead.

Death definitely separates the dead from the living, but some of the living are hanging on for dear life. They evidently regret things said, things not done, or times gone by. It’s not until something breaks their grip on the dead that real crying and grieving begin, and then it’s deep and passionate.

We must understand that it’s before our loved ones die that we must apologize to them, love them, forgive them, and enjoy them … not after. It’s too late after the connection is severed.

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