The Loss of a Loved One
originally posted November 3, 2009
Grief is one of the most painful and terrible emotions we can experience. It can crush us like a ton of bricks or loom over us like a dark cloud. Sometimes in sudden loss we just go numb only to discover that numbness is not a lack of feeling at all.
Of course, the fortunate person is the one who has faith and, consequently has hope, the confident assurance that the deceased loved one is not forever lost, but by the grace of Christ, lives in Him still. By the power of transcendent love, communion with such person is still possible even after "death." That understanding does provide some measure of comfort, even though on a more emotional level there is sadness from the person being sorely missed.
On the other hand, there are those who do not have such faith and, consequently, have no hope. For them, the deceased is gone, totally and forever. For them, all that is left is the abyss. And then there are those whose loved ones did not die, but merely rejected and abandoned them. While one is happy they are not dead, the loss of that love from a break-up is just as real; they may not be physically dead, but they are dead to the heart. In both of these cases, what we see is a glimpse of Hell.
The permanent loss of love, eternal abandonment, the resulting feeling of emptiness. All of these have the potential to lead to excruciating mental and emotional pain and angst, as well as spritual suffering. If we feel all of these things from the loss of a loved human person, imagine how much worse it would be if it were the heart-wrenching loss of love that results from separation from God? If you think that the anxiety you feel from the loss of a human loved one is unbearable, and you feel that your insides are all twisted up and feel like they are turning inside out, and you feel nothing but utter despair of the pain ever going away, all that is just a taste of what Hell is like, where we are eternally separated from He who is Love itself.
Whatever you do, don't let that happen. Grab onto God as if your life depended on it. Because it does.
Now, grabbing onto Him might necessarily mean clinging to Him while on the Cross, it might mean having to endure the Passion with Him, but it is by the Passion that suffering is destroyed. It is through the Cross that we reach the Resurrection.
Pain and suffering and hardship in this world cannot be avoided. You cannot run away from them. They will eventually catch up to you. Eventually they will ambush you. The only way you can overcome the ambush is by charging through it with Christ. The only way that pain and suffering and hardship are defeated are by embracing them with Christ, grabbing ahold of them and having them transformed by the power of the Cross. Only by grabbing them and transforming them are they defeated. Only by the transformative power of love on the Cross do they lose their sting and power to hurt.
So, grab onto the Lord as if your life and happiness and well-being depended on it. Because they do.