Gratitude does not undo grief.
There, I said it.
Gratitude is important. It is (in my opinion) a necessary ingredient for a healthy and hope-filled and useful life. It is the key to any real happiness a heart might find on this broken road.
But it cannot fill up the empty place where Dominic used to be.
Grief does not preclude gratitude.
Although some broken hearts swear it does.
Read the rest here: Gratitude and Grieving: Appreciating What I Have, Acknowledging What I Miss
We CAN hold some of it in.
In certain circumstances.
And barring additional stress.
But not forever.
So let it out.
Speak your truth and tell your story.
If others don’t understand or turn away or give you the evil eye, ignore them.
This isn’t their story-to tell or to live.
It may seem like the easiest way to get an inside scoop on how I’m REALLY doing-but don’t do it.
Please don’t ask my kids how I’m doing.
Respect the fact that they have their own grief burden. Respect family privacy and understand you are putting them in an impossible position.
If you want to know-to REALLY know-how I’m doing, ask me.
Life for us is no different than life for you except every decision, every event, every single thing requires more effort and energy because we carry the additional burden of death and loss.
It’s easy to assume children and young people-even adults in their 20’s and 30’s-are somehow more resilient than they really might be.
They are often in seasons of activity that serve as cover for deeper, more difficult feelings. Many beautiful celebrations typically mark these years. Graduations, weddings, births are wonderful! But they are complicated for grieving siblings as well as grieving parents.
So be a friend to my kids. Love them. Celebrate them.
And please, please, please treat them as fellow grievers and not simply bystanders to their parents’ grief.
If you want to know about me, just ask.
“The worst conceivable thing has happened, and it has been mended…All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~Julian of Norwich
I’m not sure when I first read this quote, but it came to my mind that awful morning. And I played it over and over in my head, reassuring my broken heart that indeed, the worst had already happened, and been mended.
Death had died.
Christ was risen-the firstfruits of many brethren.
Read the rest here: Resurrection: Reality and Reassurance
It is tempting to forget that there were three long days and nights between the crucifixion and the resurrection beause the way we observe this season rushes us past the pain to embrace the promise.
But it’s not hard for me to imagine how the disciples felt when they saw Jesus was dead. It was neither what they expected nor what they prayed for.
There were many points in the story when things could have gone a different way:
- When taken by the religious leaders-surely, they thought, He will explain Himself, they will let Him go.
- When taken before Pilate-Rome will refuse to get involved with our spiritual squabbles, Pilate won’t authorize His death.
- When presented to the crowd-no Jew would rather have a wicked murderer released instead of a humble, healing Rabbi.
At every turn, every expectation they had for a “happy ending” was dashed to the ground.
Read the rest here: Living Between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection
“On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more.
On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call “ambivalent.” It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.”
~C.S. Lewis, Miracles
Bury a child and suddenly the death of Christ becomes oh, so personal. The image of Mary at the foot of the cross is too hard to bear.
Read the rest here: Remember: Why Good Friday Matters as Much as Resurrection Sunday
Today is the day on the church calendar when we pause and reflect on the Last Supper, and the last words of Jesus to His disciples.
A year’s worth of sermons is contained in John 13-17 but this week I have been drawn to just one verse:
[Jesus said] “Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”
John 13:34 PHILLIPS
Read the rest here: Maundy Thursday
In some liturgical Christian traditions, today is the day the church remembers and honors Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive and rare perfume.
It was a beautiful act of great sacrifice as the perfume would ordinarily be a family treasure broken and used only at death for anointing a beloved body.
It’s also an expression of deep sorrow because somehow Mary knew.
So she poured out her precious gift on the One Who loves her most.
Tears are my sacrifice.
Holy Week Reflections: Sorrow Lifted as Sacrifice