2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
I live in a Homeowners Association and we have a pool that was not opened this summer. As you can guess it was closed because of the pandemic. The other day I drove by the pool, the cover never having been removed, and thought about all we missed this past summer. No swimming, no Musikfest, no Allentown Fair, no large picnics, and do not forget no indoor worship services. For some there were more dire consequences, no jobs, no paychecks, no health care.
So much about our lives has changed because of the pandemic. What started as a few weeks of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has become a seven-month dramatic shift in our way of life that has no end in sight. We lost the ability to join together to celebrate Easter and if I dare say it, we might lose Christmas too.
With so many loses I started to think about all the grief we are experiencing. And as our individual loses continue to accumulate, the grief we experience becomes even more palpable. Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote early on in her work with patients who were dying about the stages and nature of grief. Grief is tied to any loss we experience, not just death, we can grieve a lost job, home, school, even an important piece of jewelry, if we can lose it, we can grieve it. The greater the relationship or significance of the person or thing lost, the greater the grief.
Grief is a part of life, and there is no timetable to work through our grief. In the initial stages we could be sad or crying, find it hard to concentrate or sleep, have difficulty eating and many other physical and emotional affects. Over time we learn to live without the person or thing in our lives. We recreate our lives with the person or thing no longer physically present.
If you are experiencing signs of grief related to how the pandemic has changed your life, you are not alone. It is also perfectly normal and expected that when we experience loss we will grieve. If you have been experiencing signs of grief you are in good company, most of us are experiencing these signs also. If you are feeling overwhelmed by grief and loss, please reach out to me or Pastor Jerry or your family or your family doctor. There is help available to guide us all through these challenging times. Please know that you never struggle alone. God is with you every moment of every day and you are surrounded by a loving community of faith. Together we help each other. We are always stronger together than any one of us is alone. May we be there for one another.
Have a day that matters!