Grief My Way

March 13, 2019
by Martin Wiles

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.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen. Thank you, Martin.


    Thank you for voicing that not all people grieve the same way.


    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.


    I have cried constantly since my wife died unexpectedly. Others did not.


    Thank you, Martin. This is so true. I saw it when my husband died a few years ago.


    Amen Martin. Good words of wisdom.
    Blessings.


    Martin a very beautiful, meaningful, and therapeutic devotional today.
    Thank you!


    Thank you for today’s devotional. As a retired minister I find your meditation bang on!
    God bless.


    Thank you. My husband several years ago. Grief comes and goes. I am very grateful for good friends and the Lord.


    I appreciated your message re grieving as I recently lost my husband of 51 years. I am processing the loss as are other family members and it helped to read of the various ways people react at this difficult time. Many thanks for sharing your insights.


    Hello Martin,
    Thank you for your writing this morning. Grief truly is an individual happening in our lives and when we are believers, I feel the grieving process is so much easier on us, than on those who do not have faith and do not know the strength our loving God gives us.
    Blessings to you,
    (B.C.)


    Good morning Mr Wiles.
    Its been a few months since my husband passed unexpectedly. I feel like Job. I have an ache in my leg I’ve never had before. I am facing challenges with family and business. And I lost my life-long love, my husband. I know he is in a perfect place. I know God will sort things out. I know this is the most painful thing I will experience.
    Thanks for your thoughts and know God sent it out with perfect timing.


    It is too bad that couple did not talk to a friend that travelled quite a bit. They right away, having travelled often, asked questions that couple did not know enough about travelling to ask. Our first trip was to Jamaica and I knew several Jamaican families from work. These people were a big help to me like tipping what to take, how poor the people are, so tip generously. We had a wonderful trip but we did not know enough to know what questions to ask. Without our friends’ information it would have been very different.
    (ON)


    Hello Martin
    That was a touching devotional, thank you! I know growing up boys were told they should not cry, it was only girls and how sad is that. My brother is 2 yrs older than I am and I have never seen him cry and I remember once my mom told me he cried when he thought I was lost one time, I was a young teen. We are now in our 70’s and at our parents’ funerals, he never cried. Hopefully he has when nobody is around, but he is not one to usually show his emotions, upbringing or what not sure. But I am so thankful God is there with us no matter how we mourn. I know for myself, the difference of having God in control of my life made mom’s passing so much easier than my dad’s. They were both Christian but dad died before I saw the light you might say.
    God bless you and your family.


    Hi Martin,
    Your devotional brought back thoughts about the times I sat with a person during the last hours of his or her life, and as you said, they all acted differently. But one event really stood out in my mind. The person I was sitting with had been in the nursing for many years and had become a really good friend. She asked me if I would take part in her funeral and if my wife would sing. She gave it to us in writing.
    While I was with her, her children and spouses came in. I tried to comfort them with Christian words and prayer and they more or less kicked me out. Her funeral service was in another town and we never heard from them again.
    Just another view as to what sometimes happens.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Martin, and you always seem to get it right, whatever. I am in my 90’s and get involved on this subject so often. I am most anxious to talk with the younger ones as they can’t understand why I’m not mourning over my precious husband short of our anniversary, an unbelievable friendship and relationship of over 60 years. The memory book we wrote over all those years has been an unbelievable source of joy for me, should be written for others to enjoy. On that morning my husband did not wake up and I did not need to tell him goodbye. I wanted to remember him as he was the night before when we really said the words already. Our children were with me and we rejoiced!!!! What I learned: don’t say “I understand what you’re going through.” You don’t. A lot of words aren’t needed, but lots of warm hugs cover and say it all. The talking can come later. Keep your devotions coming.
    (Ca.)


    Very nicely said.


    Hi Martin, I have always enjoyed your daily devotions.


    Martin,
    You actually answered some questions I had concerning grief. Amen to your beautiful prayer.
    Thank you!

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