Let us talk about the death or loss of a loved one, arguably the hardest thing human beings may have to go through. This blog post is especially for those of us who still trip and fall when we realize how deeply we miss our loved ones who have long passed on.
When I lost my grandmother, who played the role of a mother to me, I was saddened and felt defeated. I somehow always thought she would be around forever, although she was old, and I think she was ready to rest in eternal peace. The one thing I remember is being very forgetful during that time- I later realized that is how I react when under crisis or life-changing situation. I went on a work trip to KwaZulu Natal, one of the provinces in South Africa on the week that she passed on. During that trip, I forgot my ring in the bathroom, and as we were about to turn back to go on and get it, I then remembered it was in my bag. Another instance on this trip was I forgot where I put my cell phone and as I was about to go look for it, I remembered it was in the car, this was one of many instances during that time. My boss at the time said to me “Your grandmother lived a full life, release her to rest in peace”. I then realized just how impacted I was by her passing. Mama (my gran) went to the hospital for a short while before she passed on. I remember the day we took her to the hospital; it was such a gloomy day for us and being in the house without her felt miserable. She was released a few days later and we got to spend the night with her but had to take her back the next morning because she still was not well. I was really happy on the day she came back, I felt hopeful that she would live on. She didn’t, we had to release her. Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, nothing much can ever prepare you for it. Three years after her passing was the hardest for me, that’s when I started to really deal with the loss, questioning God on why He took my mom away, even though I understood that she was old and her time to leave the earth had come, but it was hard. The questioning stopped, and acceptance kicked in.
“Death be not proud…”, John Donne once wrote. Death robs us of our experiences with our loved ones, we hope to have them living with us longer. We make plans in our minds of the future and how we will spend some time and create memories with them. However, there is no guarantee of how long we will live on this earth, only God can determine the length of our days. Death affects us all in different ways, some may begin to grieve sooner, but some (like me), are late reactors- it takes us a long time before we are ready to deal with life’s changes.
The year 2020 was a painful time in the history of humankind where many people lost loved ones- young and old due to a pandemic that no one of us could control. Sadly, in 2021 many people are still being affected and robbed through the death of loved ones. That phase in one’s life can feel very confusing, it can feel like your world has been stripped away from you. The strange thing is that a few days after the burial, life demands that we continue, work, and meet deadlines as if nothing much has changed. That is really hard, although it can help keep sane, perhaps. As we continue with life after a great loss, there comes a time when we must face the reality that our loved ones are resting in another world and we do not have access to them as we did before. The realization of that pain and loss is tough and is measured differently by every heart. However, when we get to that place of admitting and truly releasing our loved ones back to God, that is when we start to heal. There is absolutely no need to rush this process if one is not entirely ready for it. May the precious memories we have of them remind us of how good our God is- and that our people belong to Him, they were only meant to be with us for a period of time- as permitted by the LORD.
I’d love to know your thoughts, how did you deal with the loss of your loved one, if you have lost someone close? Please share your experiences so we can encourage each other through these difficult times, especially those going through a loss right now. If you can share and are comfortable, please leave a comment or send a brief message on the contact page about your journey and victory over death. Perhaps we can have a follow-up blog post with various ways of exhortation to lift those who are still dealing with the pain of loss- it can be anonymous, for those who prefer it that way. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me. You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies and Your right hand will save me” – Psalm 138:7