“God knows best, baby. . . . Don’t . . . you . . . cry.”
Those words were whispered into the ear of a woman named Bebe. She was at the funeral of her father, who had died in a car accident.
Bebe had been very close to her father. The remark came from a well-meaning family friend, but Bebe found it more cutting than comforting. “His death wasn’t for the best,” she kept repeating to herself. It was clear that when Bebe recounted the incident in a book years later, she was still grieving.
As Bebe came to see, it can take a long time for someone to overcome grief, especially when the bereaved person was very close to the deceased. In the Bible, death is aptly described as “the last enemy.” (1 Corinthians 15:26) It breaks into our lives with irresistible force, often when we are completely unprepared, and it robs us of those we hold dear. None of us are immune to its ravages. So it is not surprising if we feel at a loss when it comes to coping with death and its aftermath.
Perhaps you have wondered: ‘How long does it take to get over grief? How can a person cope with grief? How can I comfort others who have been bereaved? Is there any hope for our loved ones who have died?’
What if others feel that your reaction to losing a loved one is excessive?