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How Sad Should You Be?


A devotional by Karen Schoeppach

How Sad Should You Be?

Grief – deep or intense sorrow or mourning

Grieve – suffer grief

Mourning – show or feel deep sorrow or regret for the death of a person or the loss of something


Grieving or mourning is very individual. Each person handles it in a different way. For some it is regular visits to the cemetery. Others create a shrine – clothes are left in the closet and dresser drawers; personal items are still in the bathroom cabinets and on the vanity and their room is left untouched and unused for months or even years! Then, there are those who can’t handle anything that reminds them of the one they lost. They remove all evidence of their loved one’s existence, never speak of them or even allow others to mention them.

I call this hard grief – raging, screaming, heart wrenching, and at times, indescribably painful grief.

There is a softer kind of grief. The kind where you choke up whenever you see something you know they would have loved. When you have an experience or see something and think “I can’t wait to tell…” and before you finish the sentence you realize you can’t “tell” anymore and suddenly your face is wet! It is an ache that is lurking under the surface. When it pops up, you can’t breathe for a few seconds. It is a sigh that comes out when the memories float around in your thoughts.

One kind of grief isn’t better than another. Doesn’t show that you loved more. You don’t win “best in grief”.

You may experience only one kind of grief or you may travel both paths. And, while there isn’t a specific amount of time to grieve that is acceptable (that is individual also), you shouldn’t get stuck in it. You need to put it in its place eventually. It doesn’t disappear, you just can’t let it consume you. Your life still belongs to God and you are His steward.

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