Sunday, July 15, 2012

Comfort in a Time of Grief

St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) in his writings gave us the following prayer for consolation:
God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory. 
The loss of my Grandmama has been very difficult for me to deal with, as you can tell from my posts these last two weeks. For most of my life, she was the one person I could be guaranteed would love me completely and unconditionally. She was the one person that I could be guaranteed to see my side of things and understand me when others did not.  Though we never discussed that I was gay, I have no doubt that it would not have bothered her. 

As a way to deal with Grandmama's passing, I have been searching the Bible for inspiration and comfort in this time of grief. These are some of the verses that have brought me some comfort.

Revelation 14:13 
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

Revelation 21:4 
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

Romans 12:15 
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
A time to be born, and a time to die; 
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
A time to kill, and a time to heal; 
A time to break down, and a time to build up; 
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
A time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
A time to get, and a time to lose; 
A time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, and a time to sew; 
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
A time to love, and a time to hate; 
A time of war, and a time of peace. 

Isaiah 57:1-2
Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.

Romans 15:13 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I have found particular comfort in these last three passages.  I hope if there are any others out there grieving, that these passages will bring them comfort as well.

I know that I have been a bit moribund these last two weeks, but Grandmama's death has been, obviously, on the forefront of my mind. This blog is not a memorial blog, and I will be back to my usual posts starting tomorrow. I actually have some exciting things coming up that were already in the works before Grandmama's illness and death. These are things that I hope you will be excited over as well.


Anonymous said...

I haven't thought for a moment that you had been moribund these last two weeks, Joe. You lost someone very close to you, a very, very important person in your life, and expressing your grief here will hopefully help you heal, as much healing as can take place.

I always loved Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I think those words apply to so many areas of our lives, and I know they have given me comfort many times when things were tough to deal with.

As always, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are loved and cared about by so many, Joe. We'll be here for you, as long as it takes.

Peace <3

fan of casey said...

Joe: You do not need to apologize for focusing on the important things things -- your needs are more important than our own. We want you to take care as you manage your sorrow. It will be difficult at first but in time a routine will return -- but your memories of grandmama will live on.

naturgesetz said...

I just want to add my condolences on your deeply felt loss.