From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
We are all imperfect human beings, with imperfect relationships. Nobody’s love for friends or family is perfect. The less perfect that love, the more necessary it may seem to those who survive to ritualize grief.
Sometimes guilt comes as a result of felt relief when someone has died, knowing that the relationship was tumultuous. When neglect or hate have become a part of a relationship, the death of the person who has generated those feelings may result in self-inflicted grief by the survivor.
Such pain often causes people to harbor deep grief that can paralyze emotions. We must learn to turn our grief over to the Lord of all comfort. He wants to bear our burdens and restore our joy. But first we must turn our hearts and minds over to Him in complete submission. By the miracle of salvation in Jesus Christ, He will take our grief and turn it into peace because He will strengthen us by His power. We must ask Him to forgive our harsh feelings of the past. We must repent of sin and ask Him to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Faith in Christ gives us the power to pass through grief, not avoid it.
Grief that is not dealt with properly can cause us to lose our perspective on life. Whatever its cause, grief will come to all of us, but if we turn our eyes to the Lord, He will be near. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)