I love the dark mornings, the tints of grey in the sky foreshadowing the brightness to come. I especially love it when I wake at the fourth or fifth hour and get to just meditate, looking out my window into the mellow early day.
This particular morning, I woke to a text. It was my morning devotional that gets delivered around this time. As I usually do, I glanced at the words for inspiration or instruction. Today it was a reminder to grieve.
I’ve had to learn to grieve, and importantly, learn to grieve without shame. When my uncle and dad passed, months from each other, it spun my world out of orbit. It was only a year and a half ago, and still I have moments of intense emotion I don’t know what to do with.
During the initial time of grieving, I was also visiting communities for Partners in Health and Wholeness and talking about health. Maybe my awareness was heightened because of my own situation, but as I visited, those liaisons that I would laugh with or talk health with, were now speaking words of sadness. These words weren’t because of my losses, but because of theirs. Losing a husband unexpectedly to a heart attack, losing a mother after months in hospice, losing a brother who was too young to die, and I could go on and on.
We still worked. We still ate. We still mingled, as much as we could. We still carried on with our lives on the outside, but on the inside, there were and are spots that needed healing.
Learning to grieve is not something we teach our children. When they cry, we often respond, “It’s OK. Don’t cry” or “What’s wrong?” We hardly give each other space to just grieve — with no intention of trying to make it better or having to explain the tears.
Jesus wept. What a powerful example. He wept in front of others, without shame. Lazarus was dead, and Jesus saw people needing comfort, needing hope, needing a savior, and this is why I think he wept. He loved Lazarus, but Jesus also knew that he had the power to raise him from the dead, so that couldn’t have been why he wept. I believe Jesus was moved by the grief of those around him, and he cried out of love.
I am glad that as I learn to grieve I am comforted by a king who is moved by my tears, and reacts with love.