9 things on grieving

Some grief you carry in community. The worst grief you carry alone.

You grieve the relationship that should have been. The missing people in your life that you can’t talk about. The loved ones that were taken away because of great evil. The loved ones taken away by death, illness or broken relationship.

You grieve the loss of community and the things that you know that no one would believe even if you told them. You grieve the fear and the terror and the unfulfilled longing to be known and the terror of rejection and pain if you are known.

You grieve not being able to tell anyone of what is really going on because you still are grieving from the fallout of the last time you spoke.

You grieve the damage that unimaginable evil can do that you can’t speak out loud because you would sound like a paranoid nut job if you did. You grieve the appearance of evil that sunk into your soul and took away your safe place to stand that you can’t tell anyone because the fear of rejection is greater than your desire to be known. So you carry it alone. There is a heaviness attached to seeing the worst side of humanity.

You grieve the innocence that you lost; the child you never were. You grieve lost health, lost opportunities, lost youth, lost children, lost friendships, lost gardens, lost fellowship.

You grieve the loss of the place where you thought you stood, when the ground finally shakes and everything falls and nothing is left except Christ and His Cross.

And you grieve for that little boy that you once were, the one that you hate, the one that fills you with disgust and shame –  and the hardest thing to do is to grieve for him and to realize that maybe he was just trying to do the best he knew how and maybe you should give him a break because no one else would …

And you grieve the life that you thought you would have but the curse on the world got in the way, and you realize that “godliness with contentment is great gain” is the hardest concept to embrace when your soul is screaming – and then, you bow your head and worship. “Yet not my will, but thine be done.” I know. I truly know that the day will come when all of these tears will be washed away. How I long for that day.

26 Comments

Filed under 9 things, Grief

26 responses to “9 things on grieving

  1. Annette

    You nailed it once again, Sam. Thank you.

  2. Bunkababy

    Sam, there is a balm in those words. Just knowing someone else understands is as sweet as honey. Right now this minutes those words translated for me the purpose and brother we have in Jesus. I’m a tough nut to crack and you cracked my crusty hard shell a bit.

  3. Kay O.

    And I’m so grateful for that little boy … because when I need respite from the world, this is where I come to sit.
    He grew from that place into someone who teaches, encourages and understands me. There is no place else like this.
    I am grateful.
    Thank you. ♥️

  4. Janet

    You put into words the grief that I feel every single day. Loss of family, children, community, reputation. Loss of being who I thought I was when everything shattered and I was left with nobody but Jesus. That is a hard place, and a good place to be. Just the other day I emailed my church family to ask for help with my brain injured husband who is moving home after being four months in hospital and nursing home. All I need is someone to visit while I go for an appointment here and there. There is no help from social services because they are crying for workers and so many have quit since COVID. The disheartening part is that I got ZERO response from the people in my church. Not one person said, “Sure, I’ll visit him. When is your next appointment?” I’ve grieved the loss of so many things on your list, and it’s sad to think the reasons for grieving never seem to end. But the pain of loss just turns my heart toward heaven, toward the day when the trumpet shall sound and we will be reunited with Christ, our Tender Shepherd Who will make all things right. Your words are truly a balm to my soul, too.

  5. FreshGrace

    Oh, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

    Thank you for these words, Sam

  6. Rise'

    Sam, the Lord has truly gifted you with the eloquence of words, how you gently and sweetly put them together. This article is a blessing to my soul. I have personally experienced great loss in my life. But God……
    He never left me. During my darkest days is when I felt closest to the Lord. ❤️

  7. Bunkababy

    Ok this is where I went after having a nightmare. Woke up my husband in the other room because my screams were loud. My poor cat beside me trying to comfort me. It’s now 3:17 am and I’m looking for comfort in your words. I’ve never woken anyone else before. One day, I’d like to meet you and your family too Sam.

  8. In the time that I’ve known you, I’ve seen you and your family go through more grief than most people experience in a lifetime. And I’m sure that the things I’m aware of are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through so much. You don’t deserve to carry grief like this, and you certainly shouldn’t have to carry it alone.
    I’ve always admired how you turn your own grief into grace as you create an online community where others can give voice to their sorrow and find healing. It’s a true gift–though I wish it didn’t come at such a cost.

  9. Z

    Pastor Sam,
    I had to take some time to absorb your words in this post. They hit home more closely than just about anything I’ve ever read. They left me a bit breathless.
    I’ve experienced every loss and grief you described and then some more.
    Realizing that all the decades I tolerated the evil and abuses of my entire family of origin as well as the larger cultish extended family and church family enablers (all professing “Christians”), I was living on wishes, hopes and dreams, not a reality that could ever ever be, given the depth of wickedness I was born into.
    I was born into hatred and violence by both parents. I was abused while still in the womb through the domestic violence between parents when my mother was kicked in her pregnant stomach. I had a cast iron skillet flung at my infant head by father during a DV episode (near daily ones). My mother told me these things as if they happened to only her and not to me. She wanted my sympathy, as malignant narcissists do. It was all about HER hardships. Not a thought about her innocent baby.
    Mother later joined my father in abusing me just as violently and in many other ways as she took out her rage about being abused on her children. She never protected us, never valued us, never thought to intervene or escape, never empathized with us children but instead ADDED to our terrors and imprisonment. I grew up knowing I was not loved.
    Yet as an adult, knowing they were all evil and dangerous to me, didn’t love me at all, I stayed in contact due to harmful false “Bible teachings (by the abusers and their enablers within the church) about forgiveness and idolizing “family” over my own safety to my detriment.
    The end of it all was an extremely violent attack with a deadly weapon in an attempted murder plot involving parents and siblings. They nearly killed my husband who shielded me-their true target because I’d placed firm boundaries on their abuses and had gone No Contact for a long period after serious abuses. Sociopaths and narcissists won’t let you “reject” them. They come back at you with guns blazing-literally.
    They’ve been out of my life permanently for about 6 years. Of course the onslaught of retaliation and smears had their intended effect. EVERYONE stood with the abuser/wolves and disregarded our entire histories of good character and hearts. Even as an adult I still had hopes/wishes/dreams that people would judge me by my lifetime of fruit. Didn’t happen.
    The grief and loss of a lifetime of clinging to fantasies of “family”
    is debilitating. Takes my breath away still.
    During the past 6 years of No Contact with all involved, my once-beloved brother suddenly passed away. We grew up hiding from our abusers holding onto each other for dear life crying in terror together. But legally, after the criminal weapon attack, I was advised to have no contact with anyone involved-which was everyone. Talk about loss, grief, isolation! I had to grieve my brother alone with only my husband and Jesus. And Jesus did comfort me.
    But the isolation imposed by such widespread evil I endured through the sad fact of my innocent birth into it, the rejection and abandonment of people who pretend to represent Christ…has caused me to lean more heavily on Jesus as my best and only friend (beside my husband). I grieved the solitary life I had to live because evil has seemed to prevail. But becoming more dependent on Faithful and True Jesus, Who has stood with me every step, I can now see as worth all the pain and grief. Life shouldn’t be this way. But Jesus walks with me so closely it is now bearable.
    I too cannot wait for the day He comes and makes all things right.

    • Nicole Keller

      I’d love to be a friend. I could use one. I’m going through lots of grief, right now. I also have a very similar childhood and adult experience. Especially in the church. These losses we’ve experienced are evil.

      • I edited out your email and phone – but check your inbox.

      • Z

        Nicole, I’m so sorry that you have had to experience anything like what I did as a child and an adult. It truly is evil. But Jesus has stood by my side every step, kept me from death or maiming by those violent people, even when I didn’t know it or know Him. He even plucked me out by arranging for me to see through the violent attack how depraved and dangerous they are and to separate from them. He set me apart forever.
        But the many decades of “appeasing” and tolerating their evil “because they are family” (false teaching by extended family abuse enablers) took a toll on my physical and mental health. I look to my Healer to restore me to full health.
        I’d be very open to your friendship! It’s lonely having everyone you ever knew turn their backs on you in favor of known habitually evil people. (Self-interest. They don’t want to be targets of that known evil. Cowardice.)
        I’m not sure how that would work though. Exchanging info? I’ll leave that to Pastor Sam. God bless and keep you, Nicole.

      • With Nicole’s permission, I can send you her contact information.
        Send me an email to sampowell365@gmail.com

  10. Z

    Pastor Sam,
    I had to take some time to absorb your words in this post. They hit home more closely than just about anything I’ve ever read. They left me a bit breathless.
    I’ve experienced every loss and grief you described and then some more.
    Realizing that all the decades I tolerated the evil and abuses of my entire family of origin as well as the larger cultish extended family and church family enablers (all professing “Christians”), I was living on wishes, hopes and dreams, not a reality that could ever ever be, given the depth of wickedness I was born into.
    I was born into hatred and violence by both parents. I was abused while still in the womb through the domestic violence between parents when my mother was kicked in her pregnant stomach. I had a cast iron skillet flung at my infant head by father during a DV episode (near daily ones). My mother told me these things as if they happened to only her and not to me. She wanted my sympathy, as malignant narcissists do. It was all about HER hardships. Not a thought about her innocent baby.
    Mother later joined my father in abusing me just as violently and in many other ways as she took out her rage about being abused on her children. She never protected us, never valued us, never thought to intervene or escape, never empathized with us children but instead ADDED to our terrors and imprisonment. I grew up knowing I was not loved.
    Yet as an adult, knowing they were all evil and dangerous to me, didn’t love me at all, I stayed in contact due to harmful false “Bible teachings (by the abusers and their enablers within the church) about forgiveness and idolizing “family” over my own safety to my detriment.
    The end of it all was an extremely violent attack with a deadly weapon in an attempted murder plot involving parents and siblings. They nearly killed my husband who shielded me-their true target because I’d placed firm boundaries on their abuses and had gone No Contact for a long period after serious abuses. Sociopaths and narcissists won’t let you “reject” them. They come back at you with guns blazing-literally.
    They’ve been out of my life permanently for about 6 years. Of course the onslaught of retaliation and smears had their intended effect. EVERYONE stood with the abuser/wolves and disregarded our entire histories of good character and hearts. Even as an adult I still had hopes/wishes/dreams that people would judge me by my lifetime of fruit. Didn’t happen.
    The grief and loss of a lifetime of clinging to fantasies of “family”
    is debilitating. Takes my breath away still.
    During the past 6 years of No Contact with all involved, my once-beloved brother suddenly passed away. We grew up hiding from our abusers holding onto each other for dear life crying in terror together. But legally, after the criminal weapon attack, I was advised to have no contact with anyone involved-which was everyone. Talk about loss, grief, isolation! I had to grieve my brother alone with only my husband and Jesus. And Jesus did comfort me.
    But the isolation imposed by such widespread evil I endured through the sad fact of my innocent birth into it, the rejection and abandonment of people who pretend to represent Christ…has caused me to lean more heavily on Jesus as my best and only friend (beside my husband). I grieved the solitary life I had to live because evil has seemed to prevail. But becoming more dependent on Faithful and True Jesus, Who has stood with me every step, I can now see as worth all the pain and grief. Life shouldn’t be this way. But Jesus walks with me so closely it is now bearable.
    I too cannot wait for the day He comes and makes all things right. When He gently wipes the tears away for me telling me He saw and grieved EVERYTHING evil that was done to me. Everything stolen won’t matter anymore. But He will be my Avenger. Evil does not go unpunished.

    • Wow, what a tremendously painful story. I’m so sorry for everything you have gone through but I’m in awe of your strength and our savior who gave it to you.

      • Z

        Thank you, Pastor.
        The Lord did not cause people to choose evil every time. Free will. But my God USED my pain and others’ intentions to destroy me to bring about something priceless and eternal-a closer walk with Jesus on earth and the hope of heaven.

  11. wingingit

    Lovely words of understanding and companionship

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