2 Samuel 12:20 – Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate. (NLT)
The family gathered around his bed and watched his body jerk and convulse — then fall silent.
A work-related accident had disabled Mike many years before. Though he managed to work a few jobs for short periods of time, he couldn't hold a job long-term. Then he realized a dream — owning a store. Things went well for a time — until the widow-maker hit. Fortunately, it didn't make one of his wife. His store was located across from a rescue station. As he collapsed, he motioned for rescue personnel. They got to him in time, but his heart suffered irreparable damage. Because other organs in his body weren't healthy either, doctors turned down his appeal for a heart transplant.
Now Mike's family gathered around his bed at the local hospice house. Doctors had informed them that their loved one's body was shutting down. It would only be a few days or a week at the most. As his body floundered involuntarily, nurses assured the family that he wasn't in pain. In the early hours of the morning, when everyone had left except his sister and nephew, he gave up the fight.
I looked on as reactions to Mike's death varied. Some sobbed uncontrollably, some shed only a few tears, some shed no tears at all, and some chose not to see him in his final state but to remember him as he was.
David's reaction to his child's death puzzled some. He grieved while the child lingered between life and death, but when the child died, David got up and returned to life as normal.
Some don't understand those who cry hysterically, while others don't understand those who don't shed a tear. Refusing to look on a loved one in their final hours is incomprehensible to others.
Grieving is personal, and people do it different ways. I didn't shed a tear when my father took his final breath, but I cried uncontrollably at his funeral. I've watched others sit silently in shock with no tears.
How we grieve is not as important as the fact that we do. Keeping our sorrow inside damages us physically and emotionally. Others' opinions of our grief may hurt us, but they don't matter in the long run. What matters is that we mourn our loss.
When loss incurs in your life, grieve your way.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage to grieve our own way when loss enters our lives, but at the same time, enable us to trust You for our comfort. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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