The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a strange place. But it’s where lots of us live our lives – caught between mourning and moving on, between pain and joy, grieving different losses than death alone. If you look, you’ll find many around you in a place like that. Offer more than a half-hearted hug today. Help people encounter generosity in places of deep pain. – Guvna B
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Green: Think of someone in your world that has experienced grief in the past 12 months. Give them a random call, tell them they’re on your mind, and ask them how they’re doing.
Amber: Are you struggling with anything that you haven’t told anyone? Confide in someone you trust. Giving others the opportunity to help and support you is generous because helping people makes us feel good.
Red: Think back to a difficult time in your life where someone was really there for you. Send them a text or buy them a small gift and let them know that you’ll be forever grateful.
Grief is a strange thing. I felt like I was in a bubble and the world was happening around me when my own dad died in 1996. I wanted to stop and scream at people: how could they go on with normal life when my father had just died? It was really weird.
Then there’s the anger, frustration, crying randomly at a trigger you weren’t expecting, family events and anniversaries and eventually your world gets bigger around the grief and it isn’t so all consuming anymore.
Time doesn’t heal. I miss my dad even now. Time means there are more things in your life to distract you from the pain of losing someone. The pain is still there.
What did I do?
My great aunt (effectively my grandma) died suddenly this year. She was 94 and until last year was still taking several cruises a year around the world. It was a huge shock and I still can’t believe she’s not with us.
We were looking the other way when she left us. What do I mean by that? My mum is terminally ill and late last year I had to take an emergency flight home as she wasn’t expected to live long. She survived death twice. We’ve nicknamed her Lazarus. She was in hospital a month and we had to declutter her home for her return.
We just started settling into a new routine with mum this year when my great aunt died. We were looking the other way. It knocked the wind out of all our sails and took our feet from beneath us. It was a shock we weren’t expecting.
My mum and her brother are the only members left of that side of the family now. My uncle is devastated. He knows his only sister will most likely leave him this year too and he will be in his own.
I live in Singapore so phoning is not practical and he doesn’t do smart phones or computers. I’ve sent a card via Moonpig just to say we’re thinking of him and we’re here for him. I’ve diarised to send a card each month so he receives some nice post instead of just bills.
I have other friends who have lost spouses recently too. It’s a reminder to contact them as well and let them know they are loved.
Grief is an intensely personal thing and people get embarrassed talking about it and don’t know what to say to those who have lost loved ones. It’s ok to say that you don’t know what to say but say it anyway. The person grieving doesn’t want you to avoid them. Reach out and touch base.
Update on another act
I was finally able to do the toilet cleaning on Friday. We spent an afternoon at the beach and that meant using sandy wet toilets. I took the opportunity to clear the toilet from sand in the floor and cleaned the sink of sand too. It did look much better afterwards.
40 acts – the finish line
This is the end of my @40acts journey. It has been a difficult and challenging journey this year so I am glad I have managed to fulfil it. Of course what these blogposts don’t say it what is happening in life behind trying to undertake a challenge and life has been hectic – in a nice way. It’s been incredibly tricky trying to complete acts in between a busy life. It has been a huge commitment to write a blogpost daily and I’m glad I’ve managed to blog on all of the acts. It is called the 40 acts challenge and it certainly has been.
Honestly what I have sacrificed is more quiet time with God and I miss it. I’m looking forward to returning to college on Tuesday and the routine of life so I can spend more time reading and praying. I am now in that fortunate position to have hours each day to do so (usually). I’ve found that as Easter has approached at high speed that I’ve not contemplated enough this year on the sacrifice. Our church service on Friday was an evangelical outreach service and not the quiet contemplative service usually seen in the UK. Easter Sunday is always a celebration of life and our resurrected Christ. I feel as though I’ve missed a part of Easter. (And I am aware that probably appears odd as I’ve been completing a Lent challenge nearly everyday for the whole of Lent).
I feel like a Martha instead of Mary (Luke 10:38-42).
He is risen! He is risen!
Jesus’ perfect sacrifice means we can enter heaven. We are forgiven through grace. Death cannot hold us down – one day we WILL be with Him in paradise. The devil is a defeated enemy – hallelujah!
May God bless you abundantly if you have also taken part in this Lent challenge. He is a gracious God and loves His obedient servants. Praise Him!
(And enjoy your chocolate eggs too!)