One of the most traumatic phase of life, is dealing with bereavement of a loved one. It leaves not only a huge vacuum in life, but also leaves a person in a state of shock, confusion, serious emotional crisis and terrible grief.
We all know , that death is a reality of life. In fact death also reminds us of our short journey on earth and inspires us to live everyday with more positivity and fruitfulness. But when we lose someone precious in our family, we really do not know how to deal with it.
I met a lady at a party sometime back. She was a middle aged one, senior to me. We connected because of our love for dogs. As our conversation progressed, she shared the biggest grief of her life. She had a teenage son, studying abroad, who met with an accident and passed away. I had no words to comfort her. She had a dog, which she gave off to someone else after the death of her son. It broke my heart all the more. While mourning for their loved ones, people give their pets away, which is so cruel. What is their fault in the entire thing? What did they do to deserve such treatment? So I asked her point blank, how could you give your pet away? You didn’t feel bad?” She replied, “I don’t have any kind of emotion left in me.”,
I could see in her eyes, how death brings you to a point where your brain doesn’t function normally anymore. It makes a person so numb to their surroundings, that all they remember is their pain, and nothing else. I could feel she was experiencing various kinds of emotions, starting from anger, humiliation, disbelief, confusion, shock, guilt , sadness, yearning, all at the same time. It indeed is a traumatic phase to be in. Being Lord’s vessel, I could empathise her emotional health, but I knew I can’t do much, apart from sharing Lord’s comforting words.
Unfortunately, there is nothing we (in our human capacity) can do to cope up with this ‘reality of death’. They say ‘time is a big healer’. Truth is, time doesn’t heal . As time passes by, we learn to live with our grief and go on about our life. It takes lot of time to absorb the intensity of the reality (depending on how close the person was to us). We don’t stop missing them. We don’t forget them. But we do learn to live ‘without ‘ them.
(Shash Grewal(Shashwati) is a philanthropist and a social worker, who tries to reach out to hurting hearts with scriptural blessings and kindness.)
During these troubled times, mostly people are angry with God. They question, ‘why it had to be mine (children, parents, siblings or spouses)? Though personally I never believed that God punishes us by separating us from our loved ones, since He is such a loving God. But we somehow are bound in ‘our own actions and their reactions’ cycle.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised”
Unless we are ‘born again’, there is no way we can understand the mysterious ways God works, neither it is in our capacity to deal with earthly pains and traumas.
Romans 6:4 “We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”
To make us understand all the practical issues of life, scriptures were penned down way back, since God knows that, as ‘pilgrims on earth’ we will experience varied emotions. Scriptures are practical tools to clear our minds and understand and deal with these emotions wisely. Examples of real people (biblical figures) are recorded that we may be able to empathise what they went through and how they dealt with it. For instance, take the example of Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus. Such an inspiring story ! His story is relatable.
(Read John 11:1-45)Lazarus ( a friend of Jesus), was ill and Jesus receives message from his sisters “Lord the one You love is sick.” (Lord loves you too. And He doesn’t want you to be sick, emotionally, physically, spiritually or in any other way) seeking help of Jesus . Jesus replies “This sickness will not end in death( He saves us that our sicknesses might not end us in eternal death. He doesn’t want our souls to perish)”. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”. Then we read Jesus purposely delays his journey for two days.
Now imagine the agony of the sisters during this time. Brother ill, journeys were long since no modes of transportation, and the ‘HEALER” they knew “Who could set things right—-Jesus”, He isn’t anywhere around. They know for sure their brother is about to die. Quite naturally Lazarus dies, and buried for four days. Once Jesus arrived( it was already 4 days Lazarus was dead and buried ,just like we are spiritually, emotionally buried till Jesus resurrects us) Martha said “If you had been here, my brother would not have died’ (still doubt ruled Martha’s mind). Jesus clarifies, “ Our friend Lazarus is asleep, But I will awaken him.” “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
I can really relate to the story. We were technically dead ( spiritually dead) that is before we knew Christ”. Moment you know Christ, almost instantly conviction of spirit awakens and you actually start ‘seeing and realizing’ folly of life and blunders we did when ‘away from grace’
(Shash Grewal(Shashwati) is a scriptural Motivational Writer, Speaker, Spiritual Teacher, Preacher and an Evangelist.)
(Jesus awakens us as He did in case of Lazarus). His grace doesn’t allow our sickness ( mistakes, sins and transgressions) to end in (spiritual)death. Exactly same way, for God’s glory, we become different than we were earlier “before getting saved that is”. But it all starts with …”Do you believe?” Because Jesus is the One and only who can and has the authority to bring us back to life from death”.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
Titus 3:5 “ He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 2:1 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,” .
Martha replies( John 11:27) , “yes Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world,(this was the second time after Nathanael someone declares Jesus as Son of God and equates Him as ‘Messiah and Son of God” together.” Now we see, faith being restored again, and Martha speaks filled with Holy Spirit, acknowledges “Messiah”, “Son of God” and activates faith filled miracles, which were about to happen with Lazarus’s resurrection.
God’s ways are mysterious. Why He does or allows things in our life, it is beyond us to understand that. But at times, it is not exactly a punishment from God for our misdeeds (though it may seem hard times). It simply might mean that God wants to relocate us somewhere for someone else’s sake. Same kind of story is recorded in 1 Kings 17:17-24. God had to relocate prophet Elijah at Zarephath, not because Elijah had done something wrong but because God had a miracle awaiting the widow at Zarephath. The widow had a son who fell sick and it was so severe that no breath was left in him. The woman said to Elijah , ‘what have you against me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son?’ ( note, she also had the same thought that her son’s death was because of her sins and punishments for it, actions and reactions.). In this case, the woman was poor, barely making ends meet, her son was all she had and sharing food with someone else was probably the last thing in her mind. But, God knew her heart. She was obedient. Her obedience was blessed with overflowing oil and God returned her son back too ( 1 Knigs 17:21). God had to orchestrate all these lacks and hunger and death to restore and save the widow and her son.
(Shash Grewal (Shashwati) is a “Scriptural Motivational Writer, who explain’s life’s, common principles, in a very lucid manner so that the younger generation can relate to the solutions, she offers through her writing, to all the problems they face on a daily basis.)
Our God is absolutely amazing and magnificient . He simply loves you. He is not against you and not out there to punish you. He simply wants you to be in close fellowship with Him. He is there to strengthen you in your weakness, restore you and make you complete with His omnipotence. Give it all to Him your pain, your hurts, your humiliations and your weaknesses. He is all you need.
Prayer : Psalm 119:25-29, “I am laid low in the dust, preserve my life according to Your word. I gave an account of my ways and You answered me, teach me Your decrees. Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways, be gracious to me and teach me your law.”
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)