The Council Speaks
Last updated 4/7/2020 at 1:27pm
How do I heal myself after losing my partner of 19 years? She was my life, my companion. How do I heal from my grieving? I spoke with one elder and she told me my love is in a happy place; that she's in the land of everlasting happiness. -G.O.
I was married to my husband for 33 years when he died suddenly from a massive heart attack on July 5, 2008. It was a difficult time for me, and I can relate to your pain in losing your spouse. I really thought I couldn't go on with life without him. Soon after my husband died, I attended a workshop on grief and recovery, which I believe helped me in dealing with my grief. My faith in God also helped me through the tough times.
Grieving the death of a loved one is an individual process. Not all people grieve the same way or same length of time; however, dealing with grief is essential in order to come to terms with the loss and move on with your life.
The first step in moving forward is accepting the loss. At first, it was hard to believe that my husband was gone, that I would not be seeing him in this life again-but I knew the spiritual life goes on. For me it was comforting to know that this was not the end and that someday we will meet again. As believers we have hope of the resurrection promised by God (1 Thessalonians 4:13,14)
Secondly, you must experience the pain and not bottle your emotions. Crying and talking about your loved one eases the pain. I would encourage you to find a trusted friend and share how you feel. Praying and telling God how you feel is very helpful. He understands our pain and whatever we go through in this life. Jesus said, "I will never leave you comfortless, I will come to you," John 14:6
Finally, adjusting to a new life without the person is difficult, but it is part of healing. After all, your spouse was your best friend, companion and confidant. Even though it might seem you'll never get over your grief, it does get easier. You will never forget the loved one because she has not ceased to be-she has just gone ahead. Hold on to Jesus. He will comfort you through the process of grieving and replace your sorrow with joy.
Community Crisis Intervention Worker
First of all we must remember this world is full of all kinds of grief because of the sin of disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve. That particular sin of disobedience has been passed unto every generation since and will continue to show up in every generation going forward (Romans 5:19).
Sin brings all sorts of grief, but God can turn your grieving and sorrow into happiness and peace. My wife and I experienced what grief is all about beginning August 20, 2011 when we lost our oldest son tragically and unexpectedly at a late house party where alcohol and drugs were flowing freely. Our son was killed by a young woman who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. She deliberately and pre-meditatively used a vehicle as a weapon to run over both my son and oldest grandson, tragically ending the life of our oldest son, Marcel.
Marcel has three children: Craig 31, Cody 27, and Chelsey 25. Today, he has eight grandchildren. He loved his children and was looking forward to becoming a grandparent, but it wasn't meant to be according to God's plan for his life on earth.
God is sovereign. He is all knowing, all powerful and always present. By the grace of God and His wonderful mercy, our grandson's life was spared, but he ended up permanently disabled. He now uses a cane to walk.
Our son was pinned under the van for 30 minutes, and it took several people to lift the van up and remove his body from under the carriage of the vehicle. Our son died at the hospital 35 minutes later. He was 40 years old. Today our grandson is living his life as normally as he can on a daily basis. He has a beautiful daughter who is now nine years old. God always brings good out of tragedies, no matter the circumstances (Romans 8:28).
Unfortunately our son never got to see his granddaughter because she was born a week after he was killed by this young woman. This was the start of our grieving journey. Anger, unforgiveness, revenge, negotiations with God, acceptance and forgiveness played definite roles throughout the entire process. Reading Christian books by Christian authors gave us insight into how to handle life's griefs.
However, at the end of the day, we can read all the books we want to read, but at some point and time we will be brought to the crossroads of life to make the choice to either live in our grief or deal with it head on with the help of the one who created us: God.
My wife and I became Christians in 1979 also as a result of a tragedy when my brother's family lost their five-year-old son to a drowning accident. Their five-year-old son drowned in the Omand's Creek in the central part of Winnipeg on a Saturday around 11 o'clock in the morning. At that time, we had a lot of questions as to why God would allow such a tragedy to happen to such a young child. Questions like, "His body is here, but where is his soul/spirit? Is he in heaven or is he just laid to rest in the cold ground forever? Will we ever see him again? What hope do we have?"
We didn't have answers, but we found out the Bible has answers to some of life's tragedies. We found hope in the person of Jesus Christ and in the word of God, the Bible. We have absolutely no doubt in our hearts that we will see our son in heaven, as well as our nephew and many others who have gone before us.
I encourage you to pick up the Bible and discover for yourself that the Scriptures truly bring hope and assurance that there is life beyond this life here on earth. The Bible talks about three heavens. The heaven we can see with our physical eyes-meaning the sky, sun, moon, stars-is the first heaven. The second heaven is the unseen cosmos, where a spiritual domain is dominated by evil spirits called principalities, powers and rulers of darkness in high spiritual places (Ephesians 6:18-25).
The third heaven is where our eternal God resides with His Son, Jesus Christ, and the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. The real underlying question is this: Do you believe in your heart that one day you will be in this kingdom called Heaven? I do, and I hope you will, too, because living for Christ is our only hope. Put your trust in Him today (John 3:16).
I cannot and do not know where your partner is today. Only God knows and so does your partner. We can only trust that she put her faith and trust in Jesus, our Creator. What I can tell you is this truth according to scripture: Remember the Easter story of Jesus being crucified on the cross of Calvary over 2000 years ago with the thief and the robber on both his sides?
The thief turned to Jesus and said "Lord remember me when you come into Paradise."
Jesus turned to the thief and said, "Because you have believed you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:42).
That's what we all must do to enter into the paradise of heaven-simply put our trust and faith in the Son of God, who is Jesus.
Books of Reference: The Bible; My Grief Journey from Mourning to Dancing, by Sheila K.C. Jolly; Going and Growing Through Grief by Dr. Joseph Jolly; Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven by Dr. David Jeremiah.
Marshall Murdock is the Present Vice President & National Practice Leader Indigenous Services Group-Canada, Aon Reed Stenhouse Insurance Brokerage Thelma Murdock is a homemaker and a very busy grandma. Marshall and Thelma have been married 49 years and have 18 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. Marshall and Thelma host regular Bible and discipleship studies and are involved in the First Nations Community Church.