Years ago, the sudden and unexpected death of the father of a young family rocked our family. I couldn’t help but observe the grief etched into the faces of the deceased man’s father and son as they bravely marched, hand in hand, down the funeral aisle.
His wife, on the other hand, modeled strength and composure as she greeted each visitor. She presided over the afternoon with apparent ease.
A few years later, she approached me after I’d spoken on depression. She explained how a year after her husband’s death she’d emotionally crashed. But she’d finally given herself permission to grieve and was on the road to wholeness.
We grieve in various ways. But denying our sorrow or burying it under responsibility distances us from God’s comfort. Jesus’ words on mourning in Matthew 5:4 provide important wisdom for those who grieve.