Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
Guest Post by Kelly
“Nothing matters”, she sighed, as we stood beside another grave.
A couple weeks ago, it was my friend’s mother. Five years ago, it was mine. Nine years ago it was her daughter. Fourteen years ago, it was my son, and fifteen years ago, my twin daughters.
The sentiment remains the same. Nothing matters.
When we stand by the grave and contemplate the passing of time, the matters of life and death, the little day-to-day concerns that weigh on our minds seem irrelevant.
We’re out of milk, toilet paper, toothpaste. Fill in the blank.
The paint is chipped. The brakes need fixed. The television needs replaced. The news drones on about the business of life.
Nothing matters because the one you love is gone. You realize in a blink that life can end. Suddenly, who cares what kind of dress you wear to the wedding, or what you have for dinner, or whether the bills get paid on time, or even whether you get out bed?
Because nothing matters.
At least that’s how it feels for a time, in the dark valley of early grief. Numb to the things that once seemed significant, the moments that once brought joy. The book of Ecclesiastes explains this mentality well…nothing matters, nothing changes, all is vanity, there is nothing new under the sun. I’ve had Ecclesiastes moments, especially during intense grief. I wondered if I would ever care about life again, if I would enjoy the taste of my food, or laugh from deep within my belly.
After walking this path for many years, I can promise the day will come, after some time, when life will matter again. Laughter and joy will be restored, but some of the pettiness that once ruled your days may never return.
In truth, there are many things that do not matter in the grand scheme of eternity: How much money we make, the clothes we wear, success at our job, how many college degrees we have, the grudges we hold, the expectations that aren’t met, the small hurts we experience. But, some things will matter: The love we have for one another, the faith we cling to, the tears we cry, the way we choose to spend our time, how we impact the lives around us, the words we speak to others, how we choose to use the gifts we’re given.
I’m currently reading a book called Heaven, by Randy Alcorn. He challenges the idea that nothing matters, with the truth that everything matters. God cares about every detail of our lives. He holds our tears in a bottle, numbers the hairs on our heads, thinks thoughts of us more than the number of grains of sand on the beach. It may feel for a time that nothing matters, that nothing is bigger than the pain of your loss. Your list of what matters will likely change over time, but one day, life will matter again. Purpose will be found, even in this pain. And, beauty will be born, even from this time of ugliness. From a mama who has walked this path more than once, keep clinging to the hem of His garment, and the hope of restoration as your heart heals.