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What Grief Is (And Is Not) by J.S. ParkSample

What Grief Is (And Is Not) by J.S. Park

DAY 1 OF 5

Grief Can Look Like Anything

I used to think grief had a singular, common expression, a somber response of tears and sadness.

I used to think that grief needed time, activity, and direction.

What I did not expect is that grief can look like everything. It can need anything.

We grieve differently, as much as we need differently.

You may be feeling like your grief is too much. Or maybe you worry your sorrow is a burden or the way you express your sadness is odd. My time as a hospital chaplain has shown me that there is no one right way to mourn. Sometimes, it looks or feels strange even as we experience or embody it. Amid your grief, do not give yourself a hard time by expecting your emotions or actions to look a certain way. Our bodies cling to what we need to survive the moment, even the smallest plank in the most difficult sea.

We know Jesus grieved when Lazarus died, even though he knew his friend would soon be brought back to life (John 11:35). Jesus’s example shows us that grief is natural and worthwhile—a universal expression of love and loss. The next time you worry that your sorrow is too much for the world, remember that Jesus himself mourned the necessity of suffering—and even if you believe he has conquered death, he still mourns with you nonetheless.

Reflect: What has your grief looked like in the past? What has brought you comfort?

Pray: Dear God, give me patience for myself during grief. Thank you for making space for all types of sorrow and sending your Son, who shares in all suffering. Amen.

Day 2

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