The Strangeness of Grief

Grief is different for everyone and in every situation. I have spoken those truths over the years.

Now, I am experiencing them personally as I grieve the loss of my mother. My mother was a beautiful person who taught me so much about life. You can read more about her here and here.

Everyone does experience grief. Sometimes it is very brief and at other times it is quite prolonged. Some people grieve in traditional ways (weeping, sadness) while others grieve in quite different ways.

What is strange to me is that my grief for my mother has come in week two more than week one. I suppose we were making arrangements last week and this week I am dealing with reality. I found myself early this morning dreading going back into her house to go through everything.

I didn’t see this coming.

What’s important is that you do grieve and that you express grief appropriately. Martha has encouraged me “not to keep it inside” as I probably am prone to do, but to simply express to her how I feel. I know I tend to minimize any negative emotions I feel.

Martha wrote a book entitled “It Hurts But I’m Okay,” where she writes about expressing grief (it hurts) without frightening the person who asks (but I’m okay).

Grief is normal. Jesus grieved over Lazarus and wept over his tomb. He mourned with Mary and Martha and spoke words of eternal truth concerning the death of Lazarus (John 11). The events concerning Lazarus’s death and resurrection blessed the people of his day and continue to bless us. We can let every experience of life be a means of blessing and growth when we seek God and allow God to grow us through life.

One of the things my mother taught me was that God redeems every situation. In one of the darkest experiences of my life (I thought I was devastated, I wasn’t), she quoted Romans 8:28 about how God works for good for those who love Him. Over the next few years, I was able to witness God doing exactly what He said He would do.

I’m trying to grieve properly while encouraging the people around me.

Grief is very strange, but it is God’s blessing to us as we remember those we love and prepare to go forward without them.

12 Comments


  1. Scot
    Aug 28, 2019

    One of the things I have learned is that not only is it ok for someone to ask me “How are you doing?” but also it is good for me for someone to ask. That question gives me cause to think “well how am I doing?” and it gives me opportunity to testify of God’s grace in my grief. I am praying for you, pastor.


  2. Bethellen
    Aug 28, 2019

    Grief never goes away permanently when you love someone. Daddy died in 1070 and Mama in 1982. I still miss them and the impact for good they had on my life. Their memories are a wonderful gift from God. Love you Waylon and praying for you.


  3. jerry & donna t
    Aug 28, 2019

    W, what I’ve found… Grief is like salt. Sometimes you need a little bit to savor on your own. Sometimes you need to have others to share with so it doesn’t overpower. Over the next weeks and months you will sometimes have excess and sometimes you will be bland. Whether you are in excess or scarcity, God will put people in your life who need to share your season, don’t be selfish by not letting them. Love you brother.


  4. AJ Wrublewski
    Aug 28, 2019

    As I do frequently, I just prayed for you brother Waylon.

    AJ


  5. Praying for you
    Aug 28, 2019

    Waylon,

    Praying again for you and your family. Giving God praise for your mom, the impact that she had on you, and through you, the impact on me, my family, the church family, and the world. Glory to God for faithful mom’s! Oh the blessings that have come because of her faithfulness.

    I dreaded going in to my grandmother’s. But, instead I ended up being comforted. I was surrounded with happy memories of her when I entered her condo. I sat there a while and let myself remember the good times. Going through pictures … more memories. It turned into a comfort for me. I am praying that instead of overwhelming grief which can hit when first entering a love one’s home after their passing that it will be a comfort to you and bring a peacefulness that I’m sure you use to feel when entering her home before she passed.


  6. Dianne Muller
    Aug 28, 2019

    I realized we have to grieve to grow and overcome with God’s help. However, I’m sorry for your pain, Pastor Bailey. I’m praying for you and your family. With love, Dianne


  7. Cindy Messina
    Aug 28, 2019

    Waylon I am praying for you as I know how you are feeling. I just lost my precious Daddy last week and the grief is strange. God Bless you and comfort You !!


  8. Sandy Morris
    Aug 28, 2019

    It is comforting to know that as we grieve Christ also grieves with us & for us. May you feel the love & prayers of the church surrounding you, Martha & your entire family.


  9. Norris Landry
    Aug 28, 2019

    Praying for you today knowing that our Lord is always by our side.


  10. Celia Sims
    Aug 28, 2019

    Praying for you. Your Mom, was a beautiful lady. Keep and cherish the memories. I will never forget your support when my husband died. Sorry it was so late that I called you that night, but death has no good time. I came home that night and turned in my Bible to Isiah 54:5. I still fully rely on God. For support, He never fails. Love you and Martha and keep you in my prayers.


  11. Frank Shaw
    Aug 28, 2019

    Wait a few years. It never goes away, but don’t feel too hard pressed. We still have some work to do. Praying for you.


  12. James L. Atchison
    Aug 28, 2019

    Jesus wept. Why did Jesus weep? It certainly wasn’t because Lazarus died. Jesus was going to raise him from the dead and bring him from paradise to a fallen world. Your mother is in the presence of Jesus. That is a wonderful place to be. God bless you Waylon.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[More on Love and Hatred] For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. — 1 John 3:11 (NIV)