Waves of Grief

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.                                                                                                                                                John 16:22

I was speaking recently with a client who is going through the grieving process, and I talked with her about my view of grieving. I explained it is like standing at the shore of a large body of water where the tides roll in. In early grief, like those ocean waves, the waves of grief seem to wash over us completely, frequently, and fearsomely. We think that we might drown because we cannot catch our breath.

Then gradually, the waves diminish a bit. They still roll over us, but with a bit less frequency and less intensity. Then later on, the waves still come, but they are even less intense and less frequent. They can still come, and they can still at times wash over us, but this sense of being overwhelmed by them is diminished.

Finally, after some period of time (never try to put a time limit on the grieving process), there will be waves, but now quite infrequently. They may still come, and indeed may surprise us with their intensity at times, but they do not overwhelm us, and we can have some reflective perspective on them.

Grieving is natural and important. It honors those people and even things we have lost that were important to us. Yes, we grieve all losses, and that is what helps to make us human.

The analogy of the waves of grief has been helpful for me, and I hope it is helpful to my readers as well.

Prayer: Lord, we are visited by pain and loss, and we are joined to others in the fellowship of suffering that we all experience. We look to you and others for comfort in those times, Amen

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