Written by: Josh Armstrong
Wednesday October 11, 2017

This past weekend, although the weather remained steady with heat, I walked out my door and noticed a faint smell in the air symbolizing to me that change is on the horizon. God has created our world in such a way that we have seasonal changes. We begin to feel a coolness in the air, and the leaves begin to change their colors and eventually fall to the ground, leading into the chill of winter.

Grief is much like this in our lives. Several months ago, I received a phone call from my mother, who lives in Florida, informing me that one of her sisters had died. You would have to know the history of the previous several years in order to know the impact that phone call had on me and how it catapulted me into a rollercoaster of emotions.

Isn't it interesting how one loss makes us reflect on the myriad of losses that we have had throughout our lives? In 2010, I lost my maternal grandmother, who taught me a lot about life and love. For the next several years, our family experienced subsequent losses ranging from uncles by marriage and my mother's brother—two uncles per year, in fact—and now my mother's sister.

With that phone call, my feelings began to surface as I reflected on the now-changing season of my own life. Preparing for an event scheduled that evening, I found myself standing in the shower, sobbing and saying boisterously to God, "I just can't do this!" It had dawned on me that the reason for my sudden downward spiral of emotions and feelings was that my season in life was changing. I was becoming a part of the "Older Generation." I felt the sting of death at that moment gripping my entire being and sending me emotionally to my spiritual knees, searching for peace and solace from the One who "sticks closer than a brother."

Maybe you have found yourself at this point. Maybe you have felt the sudden earthquake, the shifting of your soul, as you faced the seasons of your life transitioning, and you recognized that you had no control over the colors changing in your world or the leaves falling to the ground. We all come to a "fork in the road" where we realize that life is a series of seasonal changes—some we enjoy, like the cool fall air that carries with it the nights of roasting marshmallows at a bonfire and hearing cheers at a football game, that remind us of years gone by. However, there is also the seasonal change that occurs in our lives that reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, that begins with "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born and a time to die," and ends with, "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Although we may not see beauty in the moment when our world is shattered by the sudden shifting of life's seasons, we are promised that He will make all things beautiful in their time and that joy does indeed come when the night has passed and the morning has come once again.

My friends, enjoy the pleasures of your life's seasons now, relish the memories of your loved ones whom you hold close to your heart, and embrace the pictures of yesteryear, for in them you will find the healing that is so needed. Wait with patient expectation knowing that He does make everything beautiful in its time.

—Saundra Yates, Bereavement Coordinator/Chaplain (Mount Airy Office)

Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care offers free grief support to the community at large. For more information, contact us today at 336-789-2922 (toll-free 1-888-789-2922).

Tags: Grief Support