Brokenhearted and Crushed

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. (Psalm 34:17-22 ESV).

There is a relatively new practice developing on the fringe of mortuary preparation of the deceased for wakes and funerals. Though not the first time this has been seen, the body of David Morales Colón was placed on his motorcycle in a peculiar “viewing ceremony” that his family requested after he was murdered in San Juan, Puerto Rico in May, 2012. There have been others documented through the years, but this one certainly seems to have been one of the most extreme. I suppose it may have brought some comfort to the family. The idea may be abhorrent for you to even consider. However, it does underscore a universal truth. Grief from the death of a loved one is always difficult to deal with.

It simply isn’t a pleasant thought, but at various points in life many of the people we love most are going to die, parents, spouses, friends, siblings, and sometimes, children. The stats on death are 100%. For everyone who lives, death eventually comes. We don’t want to think about it, but it’s a reality of life. When it comes, we need to remember the stages of grief shock, numbness, denial, anger, depression, and eventually acceptance. The holidays are even more difficult as we experience the empty chair at the table. The emotion can be overwhelming. No wonder the psalmist directs us to the comfort of the Lord. He is the only one who can give us hope in such a trying time. There are also some other practical steps you can take if you are one of those who are going through such a time:

  • First, remember it’s a process; it can’t be rushed, but it doesn’t last forever.
  • Second, with the help of God, it can be a time of growth. And, if you don’t know God, get to know Him.
  • Third, seek the help of others. We all need the support of others to get through it.
  • Fourth, remember that the first year is the toughest. Don’t try to make major decisions right away; give yourself some time.
  • Fifth, for the believer, you can live with the hope that you can see them again.

Grief is tough, but with God’s help and the help of others, you will make it. Trust in the One who has conquered death forever.