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Good Grief

By Ashley Webster

"It comes in waves…"

I have heard that so many times in reference to grief. I never understood it until I allowed myself to grieve my mom. Sometimes when I am driving - I miss her. When one of my kids says something funny that sounds like her or they do something amazing I want her to see, the tears come. They just start to flow sometimes.

Standing on the sand, you watch the waves. They are beautiful, powerful, calming, and rough.

Sometimes in grief you are standing on the sand. Knowing the waves lie just ahead of you. You can’t anticipate entering the water- it just happens. Sometimes you’re only knee deep and the wave is felt but you are not overtaken. Sometimes you are under the wave, not able to breathe or hear clearly. Sometimes the wave carries you away for a while. Then you are soon back on the sand; watching the waves and knowing there will be another moment when you are under them.

When a wave of grief hits me I HAVE to remember one thing. God sees those tears. He is holding my hand. God knows those moments when it just flows from missing her so much; He knows how much I loved her. He is the all-encompassing grief counselor. He is the One who understands, if He didn’t, He would not have bothered to put it in His Word. He is under that water with me. He sustains me when the current pulls me under. I have to allow Him to help me though.

When someone is drowning, they have to be calm before they can be taken to safety. Otherwise, the one saving the person can be overtaken themselves. The drowning person has to allow themselves to be saved. They have to stop thrashing and trying to pull others under.

I fought grief for a long time. I don’t remember what exactly I believed would happen to me if I gave in. I think apart of me felt the pain was too deep to visit. The water was too rough and cold to touch. I believed I would drown. I wasn’t giving the Lord the chance to uphold me with His right hand and share loving truths with me to help me cope with loss. Once I did though, once I headed into the water, knowing He was with me, I began to heal. Grief is healing. It sounds so counterproductive. At least it did to me. Maybe I felt that if I didn’t acknowledge it; it wasn’t there…but it was. Whether I acknowledged it or not the waves were there. I was always on the cusp of going under but would clamor back up the shore so as to not remember anything that would cause more pain.

I thank God for the ability to grieve. It’s so necessary for growth. I cannot even tell you how healing it is to laugh about something my mom said or did and cry at the same time. The waves get more manageable, however the pain is still deep and raw. You can’t control them, but you can trust the One who does.

Grief is a new chapter- the one no one wants to read- but you must to understand the ending. Trust the Author. He knows the pain, He will ride that wave with you, and He will NEVER let you drown. It gives new meaning to the phrase “Good Grief”.

“Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

I use to think this verse was so obvious; after experiencing loss though, it carries a new meaning. The word “shall”, so sure and final. The Lord doesn’t say “might” or “if they….” He states definitively that we SHALL be comforted. What a beautiful promise in the midst of chaos in our hearts. I have had someone hug me when I didn’t feel like hugging. It helped me immensely. It softened me in that moment. I believe this verse is similar; He will comfort us when we try to comfort ourselves, when we are angry, when we are crying, when we are broken, etc. I am so thankful for God’s definitive statements.

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