To grieve is to be in tension and pulled in two directions at once. One direction pulls back to take time to reflect and remember the person, relationship, to honor and remember their life. The second direction beckons to move on – even though it feels like time should stand still. I want to hold onto the person and relationship and yet I can’t. They are gone. There is no going back. I cannot pause, stop, rewind or even fast-forward life. Life is only in play mode. It starts, plays and ends.
The tension between wanting things the way they were, to pause life, and to keep moving forward is hard. I need to take time to grieve and yet have to move on with life because laundry, dishes and bills don’t stop. My kids keep me in the present and keep me moving, even when I would rather stand still.
Within the tension of grief I cling to God’s promises in scripture. He will bind up the broken-hearted, comfort all who mourn and give oil of gladness instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:1,3). I still walk this road of grief – but do it with a companion – one who promises to go before me, walk along-side me and protect me. One who will never leave me or forsake me so I am not afraid or dismayed (Deut. 31:8). This gives me hope.
Action Step: Which of God’s promises can you cling to? Write them and put them where you see them every day.