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Keeping Faith While Grieving

July 25, AD2015 3 Comments

Kelli - pieta

I am hoping that writing this article will be therapeutic for me. I could not write at all for a few weeks. My twenty-year-old nephew was killed in an accident in June. He was an only child, and it has shocked and devastated our family. My brother is filled with pain, and I cannot help him. I have never known grief like this; it has engulfed me and I am too weak to fight. My waking hours are filled with thoughts of him, and I can only imagine what my brother and his wife are feeling.

I know that my nephew is with God.

So…is grief a selfish emotion? I have turned to the Bible during this difficult time, and my favorite verse is Romans 8:18:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

To grieve is to suffer. This kind of pain is piercing and unrelenting. I cannot cry enough. When I read this verse, it soothes my soul. It has become a verse I repeat daily in my mind, especially when the pain wells up. I give Him glory in times of great sorrow.

My nephews life and those who pass away very young were not lives lived in vain. It can seem as though we did not have enough time with them. I think of a million things I wanted to say to him and do with him. I have been savoring memories that I have of him, burning his face into my mind.

I cannot know what God’s plan is for my nephew, but I must trust absolutely that God is in control. The more I try to understand, the harder it is to fathom. I want and need to channel my pain for good. I want to help my brother to better live his faith, so he can be reunited with his son in Heaven.

I am sure we have all tried bargaining with God at one time or another. We all know the outcome. His Will will be done. Just as before He formed us in our mothers womb, He knew us. He knows when He will call us Home. As the pastor at my nephews service said, “It is the quality of life that was lead, not the quantity.” I agree with her, although I desperately wish that he could still be here. However, I know that is my flesh being weak; my selfishness taking over. How can I ever know what is best before God?

Time is the culprit here. I complained above that it seems as though we did not have enough time with our loved ones. It passed too quickly, only to have to live without them for so long.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I pray that God will help ease our pain. I pray for all of you that have also lost a loved one. Be sure to tell your family you love them today and everyday. It may be a cliche, but it is true: we do not know how much time we have on Earth. Live your life with purpose and gratitude!

God bless you.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Karen Reep is a Catholic wife and mother to seven children. She lives in a small town in southern Kansas. She has a degree in health science, but prefers to be a stay-at-home mom. She teaches catechism to the tenth grade girls of her local parish. In her spare time she enjoys writing, reading and running.

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  • Kelly Mary Harter

    Romans 8:28 was very comforting to us when we lost our only son in a car accident six years ago. Get the family a copy of the book Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff. So sorry for theirs and your loss.

  • Caitlin Marchand

    I pray for you and your family. When our son was still born our priest said at his burial that “Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus although He knew of his resurrection. And Jesus weeps at the death of his little brother”. I found this a comfort, to know that sorrow is not just natural but holy and right. Being reminded of Jesus’ tears gave me permission to shed mine. God help you all in your grief.

  • james

    I strongly urge you and your family to explore – It is a wonderful comfort to know just how thin that veil is that separates us from those gone before. I clearly remember the elderly folks who stood up in the audience to share another painful story (and cathartic release) about their young teenage grandson who was tragically killed. the scene switched to their daughter who had a friend in a far away city, suffering from depression, forgoing contact with her and she was worried. A month after
    the accident she received an e-mail from this guy who said he had indeed suffered a terrible bout of
    depression and was contemplating suicide – until he had this reoccurring dream of a young man telling him to hang on, live, reach out. The daughter,curious about this asked if he could describe him and after doing so she faxed her nephews picture. He then called to say it was the very person in the
    dream. It’s called third party communication. Turns out the presenter said, the research done on these
    young deaths have a certain purpose to interact with the depressed and steer them away. She said
    it’s not an uncommon phenomenon. In all twenty people witnessed their After Death Communications
    (ADC) and we all left amazed at how God, as promised in the Beatitudes blessed those who mourn and they shall be comforted. Hope this helps.