Grieving is difficult, exhausting work that can become counterproductive if indulged in overmuch. There comes a time when sorrow and anguish are not enough anymore. Not that it wears off, or grieving gets easier. It is just that I have come to an awareness that sorrow is not getting me anywhere.
I see that my tears will not bring Hans back. The churning rawness begins to level off, not because the pain is less, but because I am too weary to cry. The sorrow gets quieter, burrows deeper, becomes part of me rather than something I do battle with. Whereas once I thought my heart would explode with pain, I now feel it threatening to implode, to collapse under the stealthy grip of Sadness.
But then, little by little, I find I can smile occasionally while remembering. Instead of seeing empty spaces everywhere, spaces where Hans should be, I begin to see God’s hand. The frantic grasping subsides as I look up in wonder, knowing Hans is up there.
Slowly, I realize the Lord has provided a better connection to Hans than sorrow and grief, a connection based on the facts as they are—not life as it was. I see with the eyes of faith that God has provided Himself.
And the fires of sorrow burn away the chaff of ease, revealing, as only sorrow can, the nearness of God.
-Excerpt from my book Never Ceasing: God’s Faithfulness in Grief