by Susie Lofton
When grief or heartbreak comes, and it does to all at some place and time, how one deals with it is yet another thing. Dealing with it can include denial, anger, questions, blame, rebuttal, bargaining and acceptance or submission.
These lessons in life are the hardest to cope or deal with, because it comes to one in such a personal and intangible manner. Some face these searing situations early in life, and others seemingly are unaffected until much later. A child who loses a parent or sibling has an especially difficult time, because they are markedly inexperienced in life and dealing with a sudden loss is quite devastating. The unanswerable question of "why?" leaves a gaping hole in their mental capacities of understanding, because there is no real answer to the question. As stoic as it sounds, the best and truest answer is often, "because that's life."
Yet a person in their seventies who loses a parent at the age of ninety finds heartbreak just as grueling an ordeal as someone much younger. The same questions are there, so are the tears and haunting memories. The self-blame as in, "If I had done this and that differently…" are present no matter what the age and particular circumstance.
This is the passionate nature God gave each of us and it is this nature that separates us from the rest of God's creation. God has bestowed this nature upon us because we were created in His likeness and He is a passionate God. Part of that passion is love. Love is sharing a mutual bond with someone else. It is when that love is severed that a separation takes place and a healing process starts.
In the physical, the healing starts immediately. For example: A person cuts his hand, at first there may be no pain, it bleeds, then clots, and a scab forms. The scab covers and protects the wound from further injury. One day after the new skin grows underneath, the scab will fall off. Depending on the severity and depth of the wound, a scar may mark the spot for the remainder of one's life.
When one loses a loved one at first one may not feel the pain. One can go days in a state of numbness or disbelief. You may see the physical affects, but it seems unreal like a dream. Then realization sets in. Tears fall and a cascade of emotions erupts making the pain acute. It is during this time, that friends and family help each other through the difficult days ahead. Finally, one accepts the loss and with that acceptance, the feeling of pain and desperation subsides. One then strives to resume a form of normality, but the scar of loss continues on in ones memory. For a while those memories are bittersweet and bring on a fresh wave of grief, but eventually the bitterness goes away.
As it has been said, "Our lives are like chapters in a book. Each person's acquaintance with another is a chapter in the book of that person's life. The first chapter starts out with a person's relationship with his/her mother and father. The first words and first steps are events within the book. Then each sibling, grandparents, friends, classmates, neighbors, co-workers, etc., becomes a chapter. When that person passes away, he/she lives on through the chapters or memories of those with whom he came in contact."
And, it is those memories shared by one another that helps those suffering the greatest a measure of comfort. Those are times for pulling together, not apart, being a shoulder to cry upon, an ear to listen, and a prayer whispered.
Each one handles grief a little different. Being considerate of one another's feelings and suffering can help aid the healing process, almost like a soothing ointment.
Experiencing heartbreak is not something one looks forward to with anticipation, but is inevitable. Unfortunately, there are no magical words, which takes the pain away. In time the hurt lessens, but initially that seems an unlikely prospect. As unpleasant as losing a loved one can be, so is the joys and wonders of welcoming a new one into your life.
In the scheme of things, life is short and no one is promised tomorrow. It is what we do with today that counts. Man cannot control time. He cannot hurry it up, and cannot recapture it once it has gone. What we do with right now, this moment, this second, is what lives on long after we are gone. May it bring gladness, cheer, consolation and healing to you and those around you.