Monday morning, while on my way to work, I got a call that my cousin had passed. I recently learned that he was ill and I planned to visit him. Unfortunately, that never happened. So there I sat, disappointed with myself for missing the opportunity to let him know that I loved him and that my prayers would be going out for him.
While grieving may be painful, we must realize that it is a part of life. And the God that we serve is too wise to make mistakes. So when death comes in our lives, we should accept it as our season. It is a time to reflect on the life of our loved one, the good times, the bad times, the joys and the pains. A time to remember the impact he or she made in our life.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)
It is also a time to reconnect with family members and friends. Death has a way of putting us in contact with people we haven’t seen since the last funeral. But the next time death darkens your door, instead of going on with life as usual, make an effort to reach out to the people you care about. Let them know how you feel about them and what they mean to you. You never know, this might be the last time you see them.
And finally, it is a time to re-examine your relationship with God. Often times we become angry with God when we lose a loved one. We leave the church and cut ties with members in the congregation. Does alienating ourselves from the church help? No. Cutting ties to God and the church is not the answer.
Women of the ELCA has created a resource to help you in your grieving process. If you’ve lost a loved one and you’re finding it difficult to move on, go to our website and check out The Faces of Grief. May it be a blessing to you.
Deborah Powell is the associate executive director of Women of the ELCA.