As an adult, I have experienced the loss of people. I’ve shared laughs and sad times or just shared life milestones with them. Yet, to this day, I get overwhelmed with emotion when I lose someone, whether a family member, friend, or acquaintance. It always seems too soon.
Recently, I experienced a loss, and it caused me to stop and reflect over the last two years. What dawned on me was several of the losses were so unexpected. None of these special people had any significant health issues, and several losses came out of nowhere. One precious friend of 54 years old had a slip and fall, was taken to the doctor, and never returned home. Another sweet young woman, about 30, didn’t wake up one morning. A dear friend, whom I loved like a brother, went into the hospital and never came out. Finally, I was recruited in 2020 by a lovely woman who led me to my current organization. She was a happy and vibrant person, ready to move back East to be with her husband, who had recently relocated due to work. Unfortunately, she too slipped away in her sleep at 50 years old. Fifty may seem old to some, but to me, it’s the prime of life.
Because my mother died at 28, I was always fearful that I, too, would die young. However, once I passed a particular milestone, I was so happy. I remember thanking God for the grace of allowing me to live to see 30. Not once did I think that maybe she was an anomaly, especially as I stopped and reflected on how old my grandmother, great grandmother, and great aunt had lived. My grandmother was near 90; I think 86 or 87 years old. However, my great grandmother and great aunt had lived to be 98 and 99, respectively. So even my grandfather had lived a long life.
Nonetheless, I was scared my life would be cut short. Fortunately, I am still going. However, no matter how much I may want to stay on this earth, I will have to close my eyes and breathe my last breath. There will be no more laughter to hear or milestones to share.
I know this; we do not have to be forever sad when we lose someone. One of my coping mechanisms that help today is to reflect on the time I had with that person. If they were Believers, I know they shut their eyes here, but they opened them in the presence of our Lord. So, if you are feeling sad because someone you knew is gone, be sorry for a short time, but then think about how much they made you laugh. Then embrace that warmth, hold onto it, and ask God to help you release and let go of the pain.
Let me share a Biblical perspective that can help. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Finally, never forget this scripture that promises comfort in your time of mourning. Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
The pain of loss is hard, but God will help you overcome it all.