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Keeping Faith While Grieving

July 25, AD2015 3 Comments

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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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