Wednesday, October 02, 2013

"At the temple there is a poem called 'Loss' carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it." -Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Loss is a strange thing; no matter how much we expect it, it still manages to catch us by surprise. You cannot really describe loss. No words can truly express how deep and complex it is. Partially, I think, because everyone experiences it in a different way. We all feel it, react to it, and are affected by it differently.

The best way I have heard it described was by Lemony Snicket- "It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things."

When you lose someone you loved a lot, you're left trying to decide how to deal with their absence. Much like after a friend leaves from an extended stay, or you preform your part in a play for the very last time. You have to figure out what to do with yourself. What comes next?

I don't know about you, but one of the things I struggle with the most is working through this feeling of guilt over grieving. I always feel this little twinge of guiltiness for being sad when the person I have "lost" is in a better place. How can I wish them back here with me when they're much happier in heaven? How can I want them to be in a world full of suffering and sadness when those things do not even exist where they are? I know that I feel sad because I love them, but if I really loved them, I wouldn't want them to be here, would I?

But it's in those moments- the moments of grief and hurt- that we are forced to trust God. "The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) He has put your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8), and He has "borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:4) He knows what sadness and loss feels like even more than we do. After all- He gave up His only Son to save a dying world. I think He knows what it is to be sad. And even through it all, we do not need to mourn "as others do who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) Because we have hope. We know that this thing called "death" is not the end, but only just the beginning. The beginning of a story too wonderful for our tiny minds to imagine. This life is like the title page. 

So it's OK to mourn. It's alright to be sad over those who have left this world. But we can hope even in our grief- because there is one who has conquered death. He died to give you life, and He rose to give us hope.

(This is, hands down, one of my favorite Veggie Tales songs.)

P.S. This has been sitting on my virtual bookshelf for about a week now, as I've been going back and forth on whether or not I was actually going to post. Finally decided I would, as you can see from the fact that you're reading it...

You Might Also Like


  1. I somehow missed this post when it posted, but found it when I came to read your latest encouraging words. Well done, sweet girl. Well done. There is a great book on my Kindle by Yancy that is about "the question that never goes away"- Where is God when it Hurts? He reminded me that our God weeps with us. He may not shieldus from all loss or pain, but He always walks through it with us.