My dad died last Saturday. It was expected, and so completely not expected. Six years ago he had three major surgeries; recovery from the last one took a full year. Last May he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, which can be treated but not cured. The doctor said he’s had patients live five years with that. I learned in February that a few months earlier, Dad was given a year to eighteen months to live. So in a very real sense, I’ve been expecting this for six years … and a year … and three months. But still ….
There is a loneliness in grief, the reality that even when surrounded by loving, caring people who are doing everything right to offer support, none can know truly what I am feeling, how I am grieving. Even those who have known deep grief cannot know my grief. There are common aspects of grief, common stages; yet there can be no truly common grief.
And so we grieve alone, even in the midst of other grievers—others who have experienced the same loss.
And yet there is One who not only grieved His own loss, but whose omniscience allows Him to know the deepest solitude of my loss—One who truly can, and does, grieve with me … and in whose comforting presence I do not grieve alone.