Thursday, October 22, 2020
After our church services last Sunday, my wife and I headed to South Dakota where we met my two brothers and their wives for a Monday morning committal service for my dad. Everything went as planned, except for the heavy snow that was falling. When Rev. Hank Roso finished his comments to the family, I placed the urn containing my dad’s ashes in the hole in front of his headstone and next to mom. As I did, emotions rushed over me, causing tears to flow from my eyes.
It has been three months since dad died, but I cannot get the images of his death in my car out of my head. Last Friday I drove to a local business along the same route that I had taken with dad on his final car trip. I was again overwhelmed with emotions resulting in tears as I remembered how I had cradled his head in my hands as I drove.
Grieving is hard. Grieving is healing. The tears I experience are not due to regret, but rather they come from relationship. Grieving represents all the good we knew, and the more we grieve the less the bad matters. Grieving heals bad memories. Grieving heals hurts. Grieving heals bitterness. I’m glad I am grieving.
As one author put it, “Grief is a journey, often perilous and without clear direction, that must be taken. The experience of grieving cannot be ordered or categorized, hurried or controlled, pushed aside or ignored indefinitely. It is inevitable as breathing, as change, as love. It may be postponed, but it will not be denied.”
So, I let the tears flow. Psalm 30:5 says, “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Washington Irving put it this way. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
It’s true. The more I cry, the more I know of love.
So don’t hide your hurts. Let them cause you to cry. Soon the hurts will be healed, and hope will return.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” Anne Lamott
With tears of joy, Pastor John