The Growth of Grief
April 30, 2017
Blessed are those that weep…..For they will water a garden
Water is often said to be the basis of life. Without water, we do not have life. Water makes things grow. Sometimes, when we weep, we have difficulty seeing what is growing because of the depth of our grief. We weep from loss: loss of people, loss of expectations, loss of dreams, loss of ideals, loss of purpose, or loss of self to name of few. Weeping is the physical manifestation of the loss we experience. In time, we learn that things can grow from this loss, but it is so very difficult to see that in the middle of pain.
You see, weeping, loss, grief, pain are all the opposite sides of the coin of love. Where there is great grief, there is great love. Our hearts are aching from the tug of war between love and loss that is going on inside of us. Our tears are watering a garden of love when we weep, and from this garden, more love will bloom. But grieving is a process.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters sit shiva for their loved ones so they establish a process of mourning and sharing in the stories of those they loved. It is through the telling of these stories that memories are made and the process of sharing in the life and memories of the individual that they lost that they weave love through their grieving process. Whenever we experience grief, we should take the time to sit shiva with our grief (no matter what it is that we are grieving). If we can weave love through the process, growth will happen.
Growth does not happen over night, it happens through stages that differ for everyone. Jesus tells us: “Truly, truly, I say to you that you will weep and lament but the world will rejoice. You will be grieved but your grief will become joy” (John 16:20). Jesus knows that this is not the end of the story. Jesus knows that there is a great promise for us that all will be made right. Although we may weep, although there will be pain, if we continue to love fiercely, a garden will bloom.
This week’s writer is Anna Fitch Courie is an army wife, nurse, layperson, and the author of several books, including the Christ Walk series from Church Publishing and the Sally the Comet books from CreateSpace. Anna finds her calling where health and spirituality intersect and has most recently consulted on building community coalitions on heath. Anna is a registered nurse, working in the health care field for the past twenty years. She is a graduate of Clemson University, the University of Wyoming, and Education for Ministry at Sewanee: the University of the South and is currently enrolled at Ohio State University in the Doctoral in Nursing Practice program. Home is wherever the Army (and God) sends her. You can find her blog at Christ Walk (www.christwalk40day.blogspot.com); on facebook at www.facebook.com/Christwalk40day; on twitter @christwalk1 and on Instagram @christwalk1.