I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

His hands and feet.

"You just need to get over it, you’ve mourned, I’ve mourned with you, and now it’s time for you to get over it.” (Ironically…..this person hadn’t “mourned” alongside me at all. If they had, I sure didn’t experience it.)

I was told these words twelve weeks, three months, after the unexpected and tragic loss of My Momma.

These words have stuck in my head because it makes me wonder if the person who told me this had been told the same crap at some point in the past. It was such a heartless thing to say….yet I hurt deeply for the person who said this to me. I care deeply for this person. And I hurt for who said this, because I know there are bigger things this individual needs to deal with.

I want to tell you something. You, who are broken. You, the grieving. You, the one hurting. There is nothing wrong with you!!! You are hurting and mourning and grieving because you feel the great emptiness that happens when someone you love no longer stands beside you.

There is a sick, ignorant stigma in our society that treats someone grieving as if they’re hooked on a drug. As if they can’t control themselves. There is this idea, though nobody talks about it, that one who is openly grieving has “issues” and they are having a “hard time” recovering. (Assuming that one is supposed to “recover”.) I have seen it so much in the past two years. The wrong assumption that most people have is that one has to “end” the grieving period.

I ask you, how does that look?

Can someone please tell me?

There is no “end” to the grief that accompanies the death of a loved one. It is an ongoing process. And I am so weary of seeing others, and myself treated like we need to be institutionalized because we are actually handling the hard things that life has thrown our way. This is not like being hooked on anything….a drug, pornography, etc. Grief is something that happens TO you, not something you chose to do to yourself.

I am not an expert on grief. But I do know, having been dealing with it for much longer than I’d ever dreamed of, that grief is more of a journey that lasts a lifetime rather than a period of time that can be boxed up, dealt with, and handled in a twelve-step program….which is how some people treat it.

You, the one grieving…..feel free to do so. Feel free to hurt, to question, to cry….to FEEL. Feel free to mourn the loss that is so apparent. Feel free to be sad. All the while remembering that this IS NOT the end and that in your grief, Christ offers you comfort. I believe He, Himself comforts us. And I also believe that if we, the church, are to be His hands and feet……we ought to be comforting one another, too.

I guess I just wanted to tell you, the one who’s been carrying this burden; You are not alone.

There are others. I am one of them. And if we were called to live this life in community (which I believe we are…) then part of that is carrying one another’s grief and hurt. Even when it is not convenient to us……..lest we forget that the Cross was not convenient for Christ. And we are called to be a mirror of Him to one another…….all the time….even when we don’t feel like putting up with someone else’s hurt.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." -Jesus-