Saturday, July 24, 2010
Greg Laurie's Grief
Pastor Greg Laurie lost his son, Christopher, (on the right in the photo) two months after we lost Joey. Today is the anniversary of that day and the words below are taken from his facebook page today. He speaks for every bereaved parent in his words and so I wanted to share them.
We have been deeply comforted by him many times in the past two years. I am so sorry for his loss, yet so grateful that we've walked this road together. I don't know him personally, though I have heard him speak a couple of times at the Harvest Crusade in Honolulu. He is wildly popular, with 40,000 friends on facebook, and a gifted evangelist, drawing huge stadium crowds every summer, all over the country. He is the aging Billy Graham's heir apparent, and in the real world they are very good friends. I do know that he has been an anchor for us in the two years since Joey went to Heaven. He has always been an anointed preacher/teacher, but now even more so because he has increased credibility through his suffering. I highly recommend his blog and facebook page and that of his wife, Cathe Laurie. They always have inspiring things to say.
So with that introduction, I share these honest, heartfelt words from a grieving father with you.
"At first, people would approach with often clumsy attempts at offering sympathy. Other times, they would say just the right thing.
But after two years,very few people say anything at all. Only a handful. Perhaps they don’t know what to say.
Many will ask how a grieving person is doing. Are they over it yet? May I answer for all people who have lost loved ones, especially children?
No. We never will be “over it,” so please don’t ask that, if you please.
Some well-meaning but misguided Christians might say, “Don’t be sad. They are in heaven!” You must have never lost a loved if you say something like that. We know they are in heaven, and frankly, we want them here with us on Earth. So, we are sad.
When the apostle Paul’s friend and fellow worker Epaphroditus fell gravely ill, Paul wrote in a letter: “Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:27 NIV).
So even Paul, who certainly had a strong faith and his theology straight, could hardly bear the thought of being separated from a close friend by death.
Are we getting through it?
The answer to that question is yes. Some days are better than others.
The most random things can trigger vivid memories that we did not even know were stored in the vaults of our imaginations. But like little home movies, they play out, and it both comforts and saddens.
But the thing we cannot do is forget. Nor do we want to, even if remembering causes pain.
Yes, our pain is deep, but know this: God is deeper still. He has kept His promises to me and my family. He has been there for us each step of the way, though it has been so very hard.
So we do not sorrow as those who have no hope. But we do sorrow. And we will continue to shed many tears. That’s because our love continues on for that person that has left us."