Guest Blog by Shelly D. Templin
Words of wisdom from a grieving mother? Um, when you are a grieving mother, wisdom seems elusive. You aren’t really concerned about being wise. You are just trying to breathe through the pain.
And then someone says something that makes you want to stop breathing.
Almost twenty years ago, I sat at my son’s graveside. His much too small grave with the casket that looked more like a bassinet than a coffin.
And I tried to breathe.
Then you spoke.
And you said, “You’ll see him again in heaven.”
And I said, “I know that. To the very core of my soul, I know that. It is what gives me hope. BUT, what if I took your child from you right now and told you that you could see him again when you died, would that be okay with you? Would you be able to just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘Alrighty then. That’s fine with me? I don’t need to hold my child or watch my child grow into an adult. I’ll just see him in heaven someday.’”
No, I don’t think you would be okay with that. I think you would want to be with your child right now.
Please don’t say that to me. Waiting a lifetime so see my son isn’t enough to hold deep, deep grief at bay. It doesn’t take away the pain. It eases the pain, but it doesn’t remove the pain. I already know I will see him in heaven. But I want to have him here. With me. On earth.
Trying to ease my grief, you spoke again.
“Aw, your child is an angel in heaven now.”
No, my child is not an angel in heaven. Please don’t tell me that my child is an angel. I know we often think of cherub babies floating around on clouds but that is not a biblical depiction of angels in heavens.
People don’t go to heaven and get wings. The Bible actually says that we will be above the angels. We are separate beings. Angels are angels and we are not. Ever.
One of the functions of angels is to do battle with the demons.
So, no, my son is not a sword wielding angel fighting demons. My son is throwing a football with his grandfather or fishing with my grandfather. Or maybe he is hanging out with Jesus in the front yard of his mansion. Or kneeling at the throne of the Most High God.
That picture gives me comfort.
What can you say to me?
Just say, “I’m sorry. I cannot imagine your grief.”
That’s it. Just say you’re sorry. Because, you cannot imagine my grief.
I am grateful for the assurance that I will be reunited with my son in heaven. I am grateful for a God that comforts us in the dark, hurting places. I am grateful for the Lord’s peace and hope and joy.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him so that you may overflow
with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life and
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Guest Blogger Shelly Templin . I am humbled and heartbroken by these words. I dreamt of a 12th man tossing a ball with my Jesus. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.