By Joel Hoffschneider
Grief is the loss of something valued.
It does not matter what it is. If it had value to you and you are suddenly without it, grief will ensue. You will go from emotional hero to emotional zero in the blink of an eye. Doubt me? Flashback to the last time you lost your car keys at 7:35 in the morning on a Monday…grief is just that…a sudden and deep emotional pain directly related to value.
The fallen world’s remedy to grief is simple. Since it involves the loss of something valued, just learn to not care so much or so deeply, or more practically, be very careful who you value. Put value in things you can replace or control. The less I care, the less you or anyone can hurt me. The stronger I am. This spiritual damage is caused by an abundance of sin in the soul. It’s called apathy.
I reflect back on Mother Mary. If grief is the loss of something valued, then from the moment that she felt the heartbeat of her little boy, the clock to loss was ticking. T- minus 33 years of grief and counting. How easy it would have been for the Blessed Mother to hedge her love, to draw back, especially as he grew to manhood and his ministry was approaching. Instead of drawing back into the emotional safety of apathy, Mary embraced the grief that was ravaging her mother’s heart…. not as a sign of weakness but as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s strength, that had come upon her so long ago. Her grief allowed her to love fully the sword that pierced her heart.
Father God, we pray that while going about our lives, we recognize grieving not as a sign of weakness, but as a sign that we are alive and fully present in the life path our creator God has set us on.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14