Grief possesses a timing and logic all its own. It lurks in shadows and skulks around corners, appearing at the most unexpected of times.
Mother’s Day reminded me of this phenomenon anew.
My mother died four years ago in the midst of our move to Lawrenceville. A massive stroke eventually led to her death. I spent a frantic week rushing from Cartersville to Kennestone Hospital to Lawrenceville and back and back and back again.
I preached my first Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville on Sunday. She died 36 hours later on Monday night.
People grieve in different ways. In some ways, the busyness of serving a new congregation eased the pain. In other ways, I put grief on a layaway program, paying installments over time.
Four years later I still find myself surprised by grief. During December, I saw a gift and thought, “Mom would like that for Christmas.” This March I almost called to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary. Perusing Mother’s Day cards last week, I saw one she would have loved.
Grief possesses a timing and logic all its own. It lurks in shadows and skulks around corners, appearing at the most unexpected times
However, sorrow is nothing more than the long shadow cast by love. If we did not love, then we would not grieve. If we did not possess, then we could not lose.
In a poem entitled In Memoriam A. H. H., Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote:
- I hold it true, whate’er befall;
- I feel it when I sorrow most;
- ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
- Than never to have loved at all.
In times of grief, Christians claim what we proclaim: believers who have loved and lost never really lose their loved ones at all. Grief lasts but a moment, and joy endures forever.