Wow – this is very intense. I cannot think of a worse trial that one has to go through. And that is to lose someone you love. And yes, it is always bitter-sweet. You know that they are in Heaven, and you know that they are wrapped in the arms of Jesus and you know that they are far better where they are now. But the pain and the loss and the intense aching for them is what you know – in this world. Now.
Hubby and I too have had loss through miscarriage. I didn’t even know I was grieving because it was early in the pregnancy and I just though that it didn’t make any difference. And so I carried on as normal – until about six months later I completely broke down. That grief had sat there inside me until it had to come out. And we have experienced other kinds of loss. And loss hurts. I do not by any means want to undermine the loss through death. I merely want to point out that we do understand loss. And it hurts. And we handle it very differently. Hubby withdraws and I need some sort of affirmation that all will be okay – an affirmation that when hubby is grieving, he cannot give. And this can cause conflict. I need him to hold me and he needs to be alone.
When I read A Good Girls’ Guide to Sex, Sheila Wray Gregoire speaks about the night her son died. She says that it was the early hours of the morning, and she and her husband got home and climbed into bed. They started comforting each other by simply lying in each other’s arms. And that led to some cuddling and kissing, which led to them making love.
How beautiful is that?
That story from Sheila Wray Gregoire has really stood out to me. Imagine life’s loss bringing you and your spouse together? Imagine being able to create love in the darkest of places that you can go through as a person. Imagine being able to create love when loss threatens to tear you apart. I can’t imagine it – hubby and I build walls up, hide behind our walls and when we’re ready to deal with it, we come out and then talk or email through what we need to before we can come together again as man and wife.
And that is a dangerous (although normal) way to deal with grief and loss, because if not handled very carefully, you may find yourself (or your hubby) staying behind those walls.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
We have seen some marriages break up because they don’t know how to deal with the grief…together. It is not an easy process but it takes being intentional in effort, being aware that the loss affected both of you, and not letting your faith wane. It is during this time, you both need the Lord more than ever as well as each other. For me, the Lord reminded me in my heart that my husband grieved as deeply as me and then he showed me how to love and be there for him. The Word promises that the God of all comfort comforts us in our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) He did that for me and I was able to live with and love my husband through our grief. Reference here.
Remember, it is no-one’s fault – sometimes life just isn’t fair. Show your spouse some grace. And accept the grace that they show you. It is hard on both of you. And just take it one step at a time – you can’t rush healing.
And be careful your thoughts – be intentional about thinking good thoughts towards your spouse. Do not let bitterness and resentment take root.