Since my father-in-law passed away before Christmas, I have been on a journey of embracing the reality of his death, walking through the process of grief, and praying for acceptance and healing on the otherside.
Here are a three thoughts on grief.
1) I understand for the first time in my life the word “irrevocable.” The irrevocable finality of death is staggering. The depth, breadth, width, and gravity of death is overwhelming. “Irrevocable” means nothing will change it, nothing can change it. It is utterly final. I am sure to an expert I sound like a person just working through the stages of accepting death, yet I am gripped with the word “irrevocable” in my personal journey.
2) My worldview is based on the absolute truths of the Bible. I believe that when sin entered the world death also did. I understand that more than ever. And that God’s gift to mankind is life after death. I understand for the first time in my life the grave results of sin that produced death. Because of that sin, and my own sin, I must deal with death. That doesn’t diminish the gift of God that is waiting for me in heaven, but it gives me a new, healthy respect for the results of sin.
3) There are two kinds of grief: clean and infected. Clean grief is the natural and healthy breavement that happens when a loved-one dies. It is a process that leads to acceptance and healing. Infected grief comes when there are unresolved issues with the deceased because of sin or selfishness. This complicates, even infects the grieving process. Without God’s forgiveness and self forgiveness, one could carry infected grief for the rest of his/her life and never come to acceptance and healing.