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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Good Grief: Everyone Grieves

by David Chadwick

We are learning how to have GOOD grief that produces character and hope (Romans 5:3-4) instead of living with a cacophony of “good griefs” that keeps us in despair and agony. 

How do we do this?

First, recognize that grief is real. Secondly, grieve with friends. Third, grieve openly. Fourth? Realize that everyone grieves. We all go through it. I wish there was a way around it, or over it, or under it. No, we have to go through it.

We live in such a broken world.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 or 93, grief can find a way to come busting through the door of your heart. Disasters, pain, sickness, trials, tribulations are inevitable parts of being a human being. God never wanted it to be this way. He desired for us to live in perfect communion with him and one other. We are the ones who messed up God’s perfect and good Garden of Eden. As a result, everyone grieves.

There is no timetable for grief. Some are able to walk through it quickly. Others are not. Every person is so uniquely and individually wired. There is no playbook for how people need to process their pain. 

Soldiers with PTSD are the first to attest to this. The memories and traumas of things they saw and experienced are so real. They do subside over time, but there is no timetable for how long it takes for the intensity to lessen. And this is important to add…for some, grief may never completely go away. It will hopefully get better, but it may last at some level of intensity for the rest of someone’s life. 

But don’t despair. There is hope even in this! God has purpose in pain. Many who love Jesus and have experienced unimaginable grief have told me over the years that with each pang of grief, they are reminded that this place called planet earth, in all its brokenness, is not their home. The feelings of pain actually urge them to press on in this pilgrimage toward our eternal home, heaven, where there are no more tears, trials, tribulations, or turmoil.

That reality may be the best antidote to the deep pain of grief. A deep hope in Jesus and being willing to allow grief to untether us more and more from any reliance and/or dependence we may have developed on self, others, or anything else in this broken world.

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