This last week we lost someone we deeply love. It is a loss we will always feel. Each time we see his name, or a memory of him crosses our mind, there will be a weight – the weight of grief and sadness.
And yet, this weight forces us to see the tension in which we live. Because of the faith we have in Christ, we know that grief and sadness are not all there is. We have hope. We have hope in the promise of Christ, the promise of eternal life and the power of resurrection. We rest in the knowledge that our friend is not gone. He is instead forever in the presence of God.
And so we must learn to live in this tension – the tension between the grief and sadness of loss and the hope and joy of eternal life. Living in tension is not easy, but it brings with it a richness of life, life as it really is. To truly love, we must be willing to cry. May we all have permission to cry and grieve, all the while knowing that our lives are grounded in hope.
May you find comfort in these words from my favorite author, Henri Nouwen:
I am deeply convinced that the death of those whom we love always is a death for us, that is to say, a death that calls us to deepen our own basic commitment and to develop a new freedom to proclaim what we most believe in. Mourning is a process in which you were, so to say, freed from old bonds, but in which new bonds, more spiritual bonds, are being made.
– Henri Nouwen