The first person I remember losing was my great-grandfather on my dad’s side. As a Navy Brat I moved around quite a bit, so I wasn’t able to have a close relationship with him, but I have fond memories of his smile and laughter to this day. At his funeral I remember my dad and one of his brothers laughing over memories that they had of him and I was appalled. Somehow at my young age I had already come to believe that a funeral was not the place to laugh…even over good memories you might share with the one you’ve lost.
To this day I don’t know where that belief came from, I wish I did because then I might be able to understand why I’ve always struggled with handling grief. As a Christian I know that I should rejoice when loved ones who are children of God are called home, but my heart doesn’t line up with what I know in my mind. My heart just breaks a little more each time I have to say goodbye to someone.
I’ve come to realize that my problem with grief is that I don’t truly allow myself to walk through it. I’ve just pushed the grief away, continually choosing to put off grieving because I believed that there would be a better day to handle it. But grief doesn’t have a specific start and end time…it comes and it goes…often showing up at the most unexpected moments.
God has brought me to a place in my life that is requiring me to begin a journey of learning to grieve with hope. I can not continue to push grief to the side in hopes of being able to handle the process of losing someone better on another day. I have to learn how as a child of God that I can grieve the loss of someone I love with hope…knowing that I’m only saying ‘See ya later’ or ‘Goodbye for now’.
Thankfully this a journey that I do not have to walk alone. Not only do I have the Lord walking by my side, but two of my besties will be completing the journey with me. Starting on Monday we’ll be learning to grieve properly together as we complete a book study through, Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Each week we’ll be reading the same chapter and then sharing what God has revealed to us and how He is working in us as we learn to grieve with hope. If you’d like to join us as we walk this journey together, on Mondays we’ll be here at Beautiful Ashes, Bridget will be sharing on Wednesdays at Becoming a Godly Wife and on Fridays, Rosilind will be wrapping up each chapter at A Little R and R.
As I begin this journey I am struggling with the thought that I will have to let go of loved ones that I hold close in my heart, but I am reminded of what I tell my children…
No one can take away your memories.
You can follow my journey towards grieving with hope here.