We all come to a time in life where everything changes never to be the same again. Sometimes those changes are for the better, other times for worse, but most are due to when we lose our family and loved ones due to death. This can be at all ages young or old and in various ways.
What can make it so much harder is when they are lost far too young, no matter in what way that is brought about. Death from old age is always sad for those left behind, but premature death is something so much harder to bear and accept. Sadly, it happens to a lot of people each day.
Questions are asked, faith is tested and hope for what lies ahead can be diminished.
When it is an unexpected death, or one hard to accept for whatever reason, we usually ask why God allowed this to happen. That question is something so many people ask each day. Blame is often put on Him as though He should have somehow prevented it. Anger at God and the world in general is an emotion felt and struggled with so very often.
Unfairness of why they had to suffer as they did then eventually losing their lives despite struggling and fighting to stay with us. Murders are even harder to accept and understand and is when so many walk away from God. Some lose belief in God briefly due to immense pain as their inability to accept how and why this could of happened is gone through. Others will sadly lose their belief in Him forever.
We are human, we feel pain, sorrow and an emotional wrench on losing our loved ones in whatever way it happens, whether through death or in another way. This loss will affect us such as nothing else in life can. God understands and knows this more than any of us. He understands our anger is due to grief, a deep heart wrenching, stomach churning grief. It is like a knife has been plunged into your heart and twisted to cause the utmost pain it can.
It is bad enough losing one or even two loved ones close together, but when half your family is lost in a very short space of time, and with younger ones too in cruel ways, it brings a test of faith such as most will hopefully never have to experience.
When most of our family has gone, it makes us reflect on our own lives, our lives with them and life now without them in it. We still have memories of what’s gone before, but with a sad knowledge that losing them means losing part of us with them. Awareness that nothing more will ever again be built with them that and all we have left is shared moments from the past.
Music, places, television programmes, films, smells, people, food, animals and so much more can bring back a memory of those we’ve lost when we least expect. At first, those memories will hurt us deeply and cause pain due to knowing we’ll never share those things with them ever again. They’re a reminder of what we’ve lost and can never recover.
In time though, those very things are what will bring us comfort. They’re what will keep them alive and with us in our hearts and minds. Memories that can never be taken from us till the day we die. How lucky we are to have them though, as so many in life with no family or loved ones will have what we did.
The interesting thing about the ones who died before their time at a young age is how many of them somehow knew it was coming. They often talked of how they’d be leaving us, how they were ready to go and asked us not to be sad for them. It’s like they were trying to prepare us in readiness for what would shortly follow. Hoping to give us comfort that they were ready even if we weren’t. Of course we’ll still grieve, but where did this knowledge come from and how were they so much at peace about it?
Death isn’t the only way we can lose loved ones. There is a variety of ways those we knew and loved can leave our lives and those ways are just as painful to bear when it happens. A grieving process is gone through then also and is just as hard as any death. In fact, sometimes this sort of loss can be so much harder to accept and bear, as death can be rationalised and has a finality, whereas those others can’t always be.
Grief is a very lonely thing. No matter how much anyone tries to help, no matter if they’ve been through it themselves, each person will need to grieve in their own way and for a differing amount of time. It will take as long or as short as it needs to take and cannot be rushed.
We may not feel God through this dark spell in our lives, nor even want Him, but He is still there feeling our sadness, our despair, knowing He’s been cast out, but understanding why. He suffers just as we suffer, after all, God lost His only Son in a very cruel way and at a very young age. Didn’t Christ pray to His Father during His sufferings and torment asking why He had forsaken Him? It is no different to what we do too when we ask why it had to happen, so we’re in good company. He doesn’t ask us to suffer anything He hasn’t Himself.
Whatever you feel, however long you need to grieve, no matter how angry you may be at God or the world and no matter how much you’re questioning or feeling there is no hope ahead, just be kind and gentle to yourself. Time really does heal. It never goes away, but time can make everything easier to bear. It is awful when people say that, but we know with other sad and bad things that happened before, we got through it eventually.
You can only do this in your own way and for as long as it takes, but remember, every person in the world has to go through this too. The more pain we suffer, the more we know we have experienced love, true love. That love will continue and can never be taken away from us.
Losing someone dear to us in whatever way that happens, whether from death or life experiences is always going to hurt us deeply, but how lucky we are to have had those people in our lives for as long or short a time as we did. To have known and experienced their love and know we gave them ours. To have shared love and experiences with them. All things that can never be taken from us.
Everything in life has a purpose, it’s just we don’t always know what that purpose is or why certain things have to happen. We never question why good things happen, we just question the bad or sad ones.
One day we hope to have answers to the many questions we ask, but until that day comes, we need to hold onto the comfort of knowing we have loved and been loved and that one day, we will be able to think of our loved ones without the pain we feel now. In the meantime, God is there waiting, understanding and trying to bring us comfort in ways we don’t always realise are coming from Him and maybe from those we have lost.
Have faith, have hope, have trust, look out for those signs that show us we are being comforted and be at peace knowing your loved one is safe, free from any suffering or pain and still loves you just as much today from heavenly realms just as you still love them.