It has been nearly two weeks since my mother's funeral, and each day I've felt strongly that now is not the time to address issues regarding various things that are worrying or upsetting me. I am to keep silent and pray.
The experience of laying a loved one to rest triggers deep emotion that, unmonitored, can do harm to the tender hearts of others who may be navigating grief-paths of their own. Grief can tilt one’s perceptions. Until I am more certain of the accuracy of my responses (well, especially until then), I need to keep quiet! I've made a list of do's and don'ts to review daily for this time:
- The death of a loved one and the grieving that follows may bring seemingly unrelated emotions to the surface, and worse, can tilt our perceptions toward inaccurate conclusions as we attempt to reconcile the level of pain we are experiencing with our actual circumstances. We may feel like blaming other people for the hurt. If you have to field negative words or actions, turn the other cheek and table the issue until later. Time and prayer are the solutions for any problem that arises; now is not the time to confront issues. Keep silent and pray. Entrust your loved ones into the Lord’s hands.
- Assume the best of one another. Give each other the benefit of the doubt. Encourage one another. When someone acts or speaks in a way that is hurtful, look for the need behind the behavior. You may find a need to belong, to prove oneself, or a desire to be admired or accepted; bear with one another in love.
- When you are hurt, cry the pain out to Jesus, and not to another human being. Human beings can’t help you or offer healing. The Lord can do both.
- If you feel you are being shortchanged, overlooked, or treated unfairly, look for the Lord’s provision. In His perfect love and virtuosity, the Lord is able to balance all of our needs and to bless each of us with the outcome.