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In the early days after our son Eddie’s tragic death in 2013, a couple of people came up to me and said something like, “I know it’s hard, but you’ll get over it.”   I don’t think they meant it as harsh as it sounds, but man, it’s a cruel thing to say to someone who is grieving, especially with all of the complicated things that surrounded his death.

Please don’t ever say that to someone. Ever.

Unknowingly, they treated a profound tragedy like a common cold, like it will pass and you’ll be all the better in the morning.

But grief won’t be over as quickly as you think.

For you that are grieving today, “you WON’T get over it.”  You will never get over it.  There is no need to beat yourself up because it feels as bad today as it did days, weeks, or years ago. Of course, it does, and I’m very sorry for your pain.

Many of you have heavy guilt you feel almost daily because of your loss. You feel guilty because you haven’t gotten over it like you think others have. Let me share a secret with you… ready?

NO ONE you know that’s grieving has gotten over anything.

They live with it every single day just like you do. Yet we, as followers of Christ, live with grief assuaged with the comfort of our faithful God!

2 Corinthians 1:3–7 (NLT) “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. The more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”

Unfortunately, there are many, like my family, that live with the pain of excruciating grief that has added layers of complexity, ongoing sinfulness of others, injustice, and unfairness attached to it.  While the suffering had a starting point, the dramatic sinfulness of others continues with new starting points daily. I call this “enduring the pain upon pain” of grief. I’m reminded of the sweet family I met whose son and brother was murdered in North Denver, and they still haven’t found the killer. Pain mixed with pain mixed with injustice.

I want you to remember a few things:

You won’t get over it, but you will move forward.  Moving forward is a choice we must all make.  I’m sure that our loved ones would desire that for our lives. Move forward, friend, one step at a time, one decision at a time, one day at a time.

You won’t get over it, but you will get through it. I’m always encouraged by Psalm 23, when David writes of our Good Shepherd, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)”  He is with you. He is with me. We will make it through.

You won’t get over it, but you will have help along the way.  While some may not fully understand what you’re feeling and experiencing, some will walk with you and seek to understand, serve, and encourage you. You’re not alone, and be careful not to pull away from the people God has placed in your life to help you.

You won’t get over it, but you will live with the hope of being reunited with your loved one in Christ! Grief is grief, and it stinks.  Believers grieve. Unbelievers grieve. But those who have hope in Jesus grieve differently. We hurt with hope. Cling to hope, friend. Cling to hope.

I’m sorry if someone has caused you more pain by their actions or words. It’s painful. Cast your burdens upon the Lord today because He genuinely cares for you.

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV) “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

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