I can’t say as I know much about grief. I’ve grieved for sins, for events and issues that did or did not take place. I’ve grieved over hurts and injustices. But grieving for the dead? This is new to me, as, previously, no one close to me has died.  But now my mother in law has died. I don’t know how grief feels or looks; I’m unsure of how it all plays out.

Most cultures, at some point in their early histories, developed a process for expressing grief: wailing and cries; periods of silence; wearing black or black arm bands; sitting with the body; long processions and flowers and fruit; altars with offerings; images and religious symbols. For the most part, they provided for public expression of grief and support for the bereaved. Death was a public event, and there were social rituals. Grief was allowed to be expressed in an open and unrestrained way, and was communally shared.

Of course, communities were smaller then.

People used to put more time into the serious business of grief.

We’ve rather cleaned things up in our sanitized American culture. We’ve done away with community-wide ceremonies for the most part, unless someone was quite famous. We are mostly expected to contain our grief and keep it personal. We keep some of the rituals that separate life and death, but they’ve been muted.

We’ve been busy at our house, with the visitation and funeral planning and carrying out, with receiving cards and writing thank you cards, cleaning and hauling possessions and decision-making, driving around to banks and lawyers and donation sites. We thought we might have a “normal” schedule this week, but it’s not panning out that way so far. We’re still wrapping up loose ends.

How am I feeling? Honestly, I don’t know.

Up front, I am incredibly sleepy. We have both been fighting off a viral bug that’s been going around. The bug hasn’t gotten either of us to the point of being bed-ridden or miserable, but we’ve been doing a lot of sleeping when we can; that’s something that doesn’t usually happen. And whether I get a nap or not, my nighttime sleep is interrupted frequently; I don’t stay awake for long, but I wake up a lot.

I’ve also noticed that inspiration is dry. It’s hard for me to even try writing about this. It’s easier to just not think about the blog, or reading blogs, or writing.

Am I supposed to go with this flow? Let myself grieve? Is this what grieving feels like? Should I be getting back in the saddle and getting on with what we usually do? I mean, we still make meals and eat, we still do laundry, still go to church, still go to our volunteer activities. Everything is muted, though. Sometimes it feels like I’m passing through a dream. And then the day is ended and I go to bed, just to do it all again.

We keep catching ourselves: after church, we always go to see her. We ran into someone she hasn’t seen for a long time, and we want to share that with her. Did she see that article in the paper? Oh yeah – she’s not there any more.

She’s really gone, and we’re not used to it.

A whole ‘nother side to this is that we know she went home to Heaven, and she’s with her Savior, Jesus. Much abiding peace goes along with that. We are grateful.

So we have some joy amid the loss. We can’t be sorry that her fleshly body is gone, because she wanted to go home so much, and now she’s living eternally with God, just like He promised.

What does grieving look like to you?

31 thoughts on “Grief

  1. I can’t say I remember how I handled my grief after my dad’s death because I was only 15, and also because it felt like I had seen it before (When I was much younger, I saw his funeral in a dream and didn’t tell anyone. It only made sense on the day I stood before his lifeless body and it was every bit in detail with my dream). I feel it hardened me, like any other person that dies would not affect me much, especially because of the way life seemed to go on around us, meanwhile, my world was completely shattered and no one noticed. But I really don’t know what I’ll do if someone else very close to me dies. The world will certainly move on, and I might join them (the hardened me speaking)

    I really am sorry for your loss, again, Kathy. Grieving is certainly not an easy journey. May the Holy Spirit wrap His arms around you all. Feel His comfort in these times.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Praying for you and your family Kathy. So glad to know she is at peace with the Lord. My wife’s mother died in her early 60s from Alzheimer’s disease. She accepted Jesus just before her death. It was a very hard time because I had just been diagnosed with Celiac in January of 2012 and she died on September 11th that year. I prayed for my wife and held her a lot during that time. The Lord’s comfort sustained us and gave us strength. God bless you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh my sweet, I’m so sorry for your loss. My grandfather dies late last year, and I remember feeling more disappointed than any other feeling and that’s because I was not there. I had so many plans for the two of us and they could not be realized because space separated us. I think grieving is certainly unique to the griever.. take the time to grieve; praying for your family

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  4. I am so sorrow for your loss. I have experienced much grief over the years including being with some who I was close to when they took their last breath. I have learned people grieve in different ways — how I grieve isn’t necessarily how others grieve. Sometimes it’s important to just give others space. For me having someone to talk and share my emotions with was very helpful. Also taking time to grieve and self care are important.
    Please know my prayers are with you and your family.

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  5. I’m so sorry to hear this. You and your family are in my prayers! I’ve lost all of my grandparents over the years and grief for me was different for each one. I was closest to my mom’s parents and some days I still miss them terribly even though they passed years ago. Give yourself time to grieve and never let anyone tell you that you should be over it by now.

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  6. Praying for you all during your period of grieving. We lost a dear friend over the holidays, a Christian matriarch who happened to be the grandmother of my daughter in law. It all seems unreal to me. I’m still not able to believe that she won’t be there to greet us when we visit MD. To me, grief looks like remembering. Remembering how important that person was in our lives and all the ways they touched us. Remembering their light that they shed in our lives. My daughter in law said it well. Mom Mom’s life was like a pebble thrown into the water, with all of the ripple effects. She is no longer on earth, but her influence will continue to be felt in the current generations and in those to come. We have to remember, so that the ones we love are not forgotten. Blessings to you, my friend, and prayers for a peaceful rest.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Walking around in a haze and dreamlike state is familiar to me. As if the world is going right on by beside me while I’m in another timeline. But yet, shouldn’t the passing of a life that was iimportantto you, make an impact like that? Sure she may have been a humble woman who wouldn’t want you to miss a step in your lives at the passing of hers….but could you imagine not taking the time out of all time lines to pause, take time to adjust and to come to terms with her absence? How long does it take?
    However long you and your husband need…. Prayers

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “shouldn’t the passing of a life that was important to you, make an impact like that?”
      That’s a valid point. Grieving is not just about a person gone, because she’s gone to Heaven; but about missing that aspect, that big chunk of your life. Thank you.


  8. Everyone grieves very differently. Also sometimes it depends on whether it was sudden or expected. My Mom died and I was totally unprepared…….it was two weeks before my Wedding. But GOD was there in all of the process in a big big way. My friends and relatives were there for me, including my future Husband. Then when my Dad died we were expecting it to come. One was a shock and all I could do is put one foot in front of the other. With my Dad, when I found out, I was back at work soon and functioning. So, it is what it is for YOU and don’t let anyone tell you how you should grieve. Bless your broken heart Kathy! I miss them both so much and still shed tears here and there. They both have been gone over 30 plus years. GOD has helped me to put all of it in perspective, because with my Mom I still wonder why…….about the timing of it all. Hugs dear one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, my! That must have been such an emotional time for you! I think it still must be, when you think on it.
      I am blessed to still have both my parents and all my siblings (6 of us).
      God knows what each of us needs and can handle with Him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES HE does Kathy…….HE provides all we need even in our grief. My cousin who I loved came to be with me for the funeral…….we were on our knees together in my little apartment. It was exactly what I needed to help me through.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so true that in some cultures, grief is expressed outwardly so that all who come in contact with that individual or family understands that there has been a shift in routine, and a loss that has occurred is being dealt with. I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom-in-love. I pray that you will be comforted with His comfort and the lessons gained, will be used to help others who too will experience grief too.

    Liked by 2 people

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