Letters to Heaven: Faces of Grief

Dear Father who holds my beloved,

I know there is no limits to your love and grace.  I still grieve for the one You now have and hold.  I know you understand me more then I understand myself.  I know you hold me too.  Well… my head knows… it is my heart that hasn’t completely caught up.

I see many faces of grief…. and am overwhelmed.  Please help me make sense of it, to trust where I don’t understand and to lean instead of running off on my own.

The face of anger, oh, this is where I am trying to hold back hot tears and deep pain.  Trying to be stronger than it humanly possible and failing miserably. And yet, You are patient.  This angry face looks at You, and wonders why it seems like love is absent in the circumstances.  I am sorry for that.  Anger creases the forehead and balls the fist, and calluses the heart for a time. Help me to come to You when angry.  Even when my face quickly builds protective walls and never acknowledges the hole, my loss has made.   Please love me, even when I fill my emptiness with every human effort and it only leads to failures and darkness.  The angry face is often blind and misses blessings poured out in abundance.  Please help me see with new eyes, the hope. And to grieve appropriately through the angry moments.

Then there is the face of pain, oh heavenly Father.  It is pinched and drains the life from my heart and the sparkle from my eyes.  It hurts, and in its hurt it has the potential to hurt others close by. Please help me God, to grasp Your hand when it hurts most.  It is so important when wearing this face, to be mindful of the difference between wallowing and grieving.  Pain can cause unclear thinking and inability to move forward.  It is a very real and very necessary and even normal face of grief.  But God use it to Your glory not to get extra sympathy for myself.

I have seen the face of depression staring back at me in the mirror, on many occasions.  Foggy, dark and empty are the eyes of this face.  Oh, the ache this causes to those who know they can only stand by, and yet, cannot fix it.  It is best, when You help me see, that being alone when wearing this face of grief, is not healthy or safe.  It will drag me to the bottom of a very scary, very dark pit and hold my ability to love and be loved captive. Holding up my hands to let You, and those You send into my journey, help me and hold me accountable to not staying here long.

The face of joy.  This is never hard to recognize, but the hardest one to understand, Father.  I know joy, is not happiness.  It is not being ok with loss and pain and hurt.  It is knowing the goodness of You, a loving God in the middle of the depths of that pain and loss.  It is grasping at the promises of Your Son.  Ones like, You will never leave us, You will be our fortress and rock, You will pour out peace and that we are Your beloved ones.  Joy’s face is where grief, sees purpose and knows Your goodness.  This face, is a gift indeed.

The faces of grief are vast and many, God.  There is no guide book, or step by step on how it should look. I need Your help. Sometimes I will go through all of these faces, in one day.  Like a teenager trying on all her clothes to find the right outfit.  Help me to choose joy as much as I can, besides, I probably looks best on me anyway.  God, You have a place at the heart of my grieving soul.  You are my comforter and hope.  I need you, in the many faces of my grief.


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