I do not do lament well. That may not be a bad thing, as long as I deal with my emotions rather than simply pushing them down, pretending that they do not exist. Denying emotions is never healthy. If I am sad about something then I will be honest about that. But I do not want to stay there for any longer than necessary. Just recently I lost a wonderful vacation that I had spent many hours setting up. We were going to visit PEI this summer. My daughter had found a huge cottage for her family of seven, and my husband and I were going to fly up and meet them there. I researched some interesting places to visit, and set up a couple of extra days before and after the cottage so that my husband and I could see a little more of the island. We were all really excited to travel a bit further from Ontario this year. Then along came COVID-19, and our plans had to change. That was pretty distressing. We got our money back for most things – with the exception of the flights. I am not sure we will be flying anywhere in the coming months, so we may have totally lost our flights. But money is not the biggest issue – this was the most exciting vacation, the best vacation, that we had planned in years. And we have lost it. My other daughter hoped to fly in from Winnipeg and join us too, but that is not going to happen.
I grieved the loss of that special vacation. But we did manage to book something in Ontario, so at least we will still get to have a week away with our family. Most of our family, that is, not the youngest daughter, because she does not feel comfortable flying in from Winnipeg right now. I will miss her. We all will. But we have something, and for that I am grateful.
My sadness at losing my special vacation was not too big of a deal. When my son died I grieved a lot longer. After a week or so people around me seemed to expect me to get back into the swing of things, to get over my sadness and move on. It took more than a week or two, more than a month or two, more even than a year or two, to get over the death of my son. My son drowned over twenty years ago now, and I still miss him. I do not think about him every day any more though, and I am able to function as least as well as I did before he died.
One of the most important things that helps me when I grieve, when I am sad about something, is that I believe the Lord Jesus grieves with me. He weeps with me. Just as he wept when his friend Lazarus died. He could have been completely upbeat, telling everyone not to be sad because he was bringing Lazarus back to life. But Jesus did not do that, he wept instead. And although it is good to have hope for the future it is also important to be sad for what we are going through right now.
And this brings me to today. Let’s be honest, this pandemic sucks. After weeks of being stuck at home we are now at least permitted to connect with a few other people, and to visit some places that we long to be, like the beach. But it is not a normal summer. I love to row, but my rowing club is not yet able to open, and perhaps it will not open at all this summer. I have family who have lost their jobs, and no expectations of finding another one in the near future. I have friends who have been sick. Fortunately I am not aware of any of my friends actually losing their lives, but then again I have not been able to return to the long term care homes that I used to visit. And I am one of the fortunate ones. The situations in South America, in India, in other countries struggling with poverty, is pretty horrendous. “God this is so sad. Please bring an end to this pandemic.” And I pray for these countries, and for those in my own country who are suffering, economically or physically. I will mourn with those who mourn. I will lament. This is not what my heavenly Father wants for anyone, and I will continue to stand in prayer for those who are suffering, asking my Father to comfort them, to provide for them, and to bring an end to their suffering. Please pray with me.