Is Grieving Stupid?
By Leila Koepp
Thirteen years before my son David died, a friend of mine lost her son in a car accident. I often called her after David died in an attempt to have her assure me that I will feel better someday. She often told me that grieving does not change anything and that it was stupid.
While this is true in a sense, the broken heart cannot help but grieve. Losing a child is against nature. It is beyond imagination. It is unthinkable. Yet it happens on a daily basis. This woman grieved for her son. She could not help herself but grieve. Now that time has passed she realized that grieving did not bring her son back to her. Yet I believe that had she not grieved, she would wonder if she was a mother. She would doubt her whole being. She would not be human.
In Isaiah 49:15 we read: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, so that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? The answer to this question is obviously a big “no”. I received a letter from a 92 year old woman who lost her child when he was 6 years old. She still recalls fond memories of her son sledding in the snow with his brother. She did not forget him, no matter how long it has been. She still grieves for her loss and will continue to grieve until she too joins him in death.
I too sometimes think that it is foolish to torture my mind and my soul over and over again when I know that what happened cannot be changed. Yet I cannot keep from grieving. What I yearn for I cannot have ever again. I want to see his face. I want to hear his voice. I want to see him smile again. I want to hug him. I want him to hug me. I want to see him get married and have children. It is an end of an era for me. It is the end of happiness and the end of a life of hope. I could weep forever. When I grieve darkness is at its height. The gloom increases by slow degrees as time goes by. This darkness snatched every splendid object from my sight. It destroyed so many beautiful things from me.
What does grief accomplish? It has raised me to a higher level. It has endowed me with a clearer vision of God. It has given me a stronger will. It has set me free from the cares of this world. It has enlarged my heart and made it more tender towards others. It has increased my imagination. Important convictions were discovered because of my grief. When darkness entered the scene, my knowledge increased and what was obscure glittered in my mind. I have decided to make my pain, my suffering a challenge, and to make the utmost of my life. Excruciating pain has allowed me to discover within me something that is more powerful than pain.
Yes grieving did not change the fact that my son died, but it changed me as a person. I am no longer the person I used to be. I do not even know anymore who I was, but I know who I have become. Now nature calls me instead of the cares of this world. My soul is open to receive much and to give much. I discovered the secret of calm expectations and I have the hope of eternal reunion with my son.