Have you ever had major surgery? If so, you know it took a long time to recover from it — months, even years. Something traumatic had happened to your body, and it healed only gradually.
This is similar to what happens when a loved one is taken from us. Something traumatic has happened: A loved one has been removed from our lives, and our emotional pain is very real. And just as it takes a long time to recover from physical surgery, so it takes a long time to recover from the “emotional surgery” of a loved one’s death. In fact, we may never fully recover; I miss my late wife every day, and I’m sure I’ll continue to miss her until we are reunited in heaven.
Grief is real; even Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus (see John 11:33-35). But when we know Christ, we have hope — hope for ourselves, and hope for those who have entered heaven before us. Take time each day to thank God for His goodness in giving you so many years together, and for the hope we have of heaven because of Jesus Christ.
But ask God also to help you reach out to others who are grieving (perhaps in your church). They need your friendship — and as you encourage them, your own grief will lessen. The Bible says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).