Most often when we associate grief with the death of someone we love. Death leaves a hole in our heart so grieving is a natural process.
What happens if we feel ourselves grieving but no one has died? While people expect us grieve after the death of a loved one, grieving loss of another kind is a concept harder to grip.
Having a position you love in a company, church, school, family, (you fill in your blank) ripped away from you causes grief that is as real as death. In reality, that loss is a type of death. The more passionate you are about what you lost, the deeper the grief and the longer the process.
We can be so hard on ourselves in those times. The first time I suffered such a loss, I sat in the parking lot and sobbed. Leadership transitioned and I was given no choice. I couldn’t tell anyone I was asked to resign. There was no going away meal, no official thank you for your service. No one there to wave bye and I knew I had to show back up on Sunday as if nothing happened. I was devastated and had no idea how I was even going to catch the next breath. This was NOT supposed to be happening! Nobody else seemed to understand or care and that made it worse!
It took me days to come to grip with the fact that what I was feeling was grief. I had suffered the death of a dream. That death was real, tangible and I had every right to feel that grief.
I have since dealt with no-death grief a few more times and it always hurts, but I finally know that it is grief, I am not crazy, and I will get through the process.
You may have suffered the loss of a job or ministry. Your loss may be not seeing your child graduate, go to prom, play sports, or whatever other crazy thing life has offered up. It may be a death of someone dear to you or something else. Allow yourself to grieve! Recognize what it is, deal with it appropriately, and move forward.
Remember – grief is a process, not a destination! Recognize it, deal with appropriately, and keep moving.