Funerals are painful and the emotions they evoke are as complex as anything we face as human beings.
It’s time we realize how deep and complicated grief can be. We criticize each other for grieving wrong when we’re unable to grasp the complete picture.
Death is inevitable (Hebrews 9:27). Even if we’re alive at Jesus’ return, we’ll be transformed (1 Corinthians 15:50-52). No one will escape death, so we must prepare for it.
It’s never simple when a loved one dies. Everyone has their own unique relationship with the deceased and no one fully knows our hearts except God (Jeremiah 17:9-10; Psalm 139:7-12).
When we look into the face of our loved one, a wide spectrum of emotions occur. Let’s allow everyone to deal with their pain as they desire, as long as it doesn’t harm or destroy them.
Guilt or unresolved issues may fiercely complicate our situation. The pain is intense because they’re gone and we can’t make it right.
We may worry that we could have done something differently to prevent their death. No one may be able to dissuade our guilt.
Maybe we had another loss that we failed to grieve and it’s now raging at us. While our grief may seem disproportionate, no one else knows what rages within us. Competing pain attacks us like a forest fire.
Things such as the death of the last parent or the closing of a generation are also factors. Above that, unclassified emotions pound at us and we don’t know where they came from.
Caretakers are also unique in that they must recover their health before they can properly grieve. Part of them is relieved that a portion of the burden is lifted and that evokes guilt and shame.
Nothing is ever easy when grief is involved and as long as we fail to realize that, we’ll continue to bring pain to others.