Overcoming grief

A Christian Science perspective.

Most of us know the feeling of grief that comes after a loss – loss of a loved one, a revered relationship, a dream job or home, an adored pet. Or perhaps we’re feeling heartbroken over an act of betrayal, a missed opportunity, or a mistake made.

When my dad passed on, I was led straight to my computer to type out every bit of good I could think of concerning this beloved man. I wrote and wrote. His wonderful qualities spilled out. My desire was to capture the perfect, spiritual depiction of what I knew to be true about him. Attributes and qualities I’d actually never seen before came out, clear as daylight. It was a truly holy experience, and though I was saddened at his passing, I never felt lost in despair or hopelessness.

These are the very times of which the Apostle Paul spoke, when he wrote: “And he [God] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Corinthians 12:9).

Paul chose the power of the living Christ over the depths of sorrow. He realized this Christ-power in God’s all-presence – in His activity and intelligence in our lives, wherever and whatever the need. God loves us. God is committed to communicating with us forever, and has made us able to hear Him, understand Him, and obey Him. His legions of angels provide the very thoughts we need to unearth heaviness, blot out despair, and let in the light of Life. As a loved hymn says, “Thy presence fills my solitude;/ Thy providence turns all to good” (Samuel Longfellow, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 134).

We can exchange feelings of loss for the Truth of being – the reality of God and His changeless nature and creation, including man. Whatever is from God can never in fact be lost, because the qualities, laws, forces, and attributes that make up God and His expression are sustained by God Himself, eternally. So we might choose to give the over-brimming love, care, and kindness we had for a departed individual, to another – a child, a neighbor, a refugee, or a worthy cause. There’s no end of places where divine Love can bless, and where our contribution is needed.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and of this newspaper, wrote, “Tireless Being, patient of man’s procrastination, affords him fresh opportunities every hour …” (“Christian Healing,” p. 19). We’re given fresh opportunities to give, to love, to heal, every hour! We do not have to become stuck, afraid, or blocked.

These fresh opportunities from God never cease, no matter what kind of loss we may be facing. If we no longer have a job, we can pray to perceive a new place to utilize our specific talents and strengths in fresh, productive ways. There may be a possibility we’d never before considered! If we’ve lost a home, we can recognize that we have access to God’s “teeming universe” of ideas (“Science and Health,” p. 513). Mrs. Eddy tells us: “The Psalmist saith: ‘He shall give His angels charge over thee.’ God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896,” p. 306-307). There’s no end to what our Maker will show us. If we’re grieving over past mistakes, we can remember that we’ve never truly been separated from God. His omnipresence makes it impossible. He gives us blessings and riches alone, and teaches inestimably valuable lessons!

As we consciously express God’s spiritual qualities, we will feel Love’s power even more deeply. We’ll confidently discern that we’ve lost no one and nothing, because God’s infinitude will have become increasingly substantive to us. The more we understand God, and His relationship to us and ours to Him, the more we can trust His wisdom and goodness. We don’t ever need to feel mired in grief. God, divine Good, is eternal, and Her love is always with us. The great I AM keeps the promise spoken through His son: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

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