Monday, July 28, 2008

A Long and Winding Road: Part I

Long after their father’s sudden and unexpected death, my children were both finally ready to go through his belongings. One daughter was eager to see what forgotten memorabilia we might find; my other daughter had delayed this task over a year and was still dreading it. We had agreed we would only go through Mr. W’s things when all three of us were ready to do it together. That day came last week.

A few days later, I spoke with a friend who is grieving the sudden death of her mother six years ago to the day. Her mourning was compounded when only a few years later, her forty-something sibling passed away in the night of an apparent heart attack. Years later, she is still reeling.

I don’t know what the timeline on mourning is supposed to look like. My friend says she was told the Bible says that after thirty days, one is supposed to move on. I cannot find the passage that was referenced to her for still being prostrate many months later.

In my work with families, I have seen the devastation that results when well-intentioned church folk offer simple explanations about God’s will and the need to trust and rejoice. I know I will be able to do just that when I am made like Him on the Other Side. Until then, death and grief are hard.

Join us later this week as we examine the story of Job, including the account of where his friends missed the boat in comforting him. As always, God’s Word offers us wisdom on handling life’s most difficult tasks. Until then . . . .

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

The last Word:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud.
Romans 12: 15, 16, NIV.


Angie said...

Gail---thank you so much for your kind words on my post. I am very interested in the post you are currently working on.
My sister passed away this past February and my baby sister, mother and brother-in-law just went through her closet and drawers. It was hard. He needed our help. We were glad to help...painful though it was.
I have never heard of a 30 day reference in the Bible. Hmmm.
I know the feeling of dread of going through a loved one's things. I was a walking grouch with a capital G all the week prior to the task. But God was there. We joined in prayer before hand, praying for various needs existing in each of our hearts/homes and the LORD was there. I am thankful.

Anonymous said...

Awesome stuff -- all of it. You have a gift, my friend, for the very thing you want to do, encourage women in the ways of God. Thank you for this, and for your post on grieving. I grieved my parents' loss for years, and you supported me.

Gail W. said...

Thank you, Anonymous! Your words of encouragement are a cool summer rain to me.