Imagine, Easter Sunday morning. The church is packed, white Easter lillies everywhere, everyone in their Easter best.
Then see your minister stand at the pulpit, tears in his eyes. He painfully announces in a quivering voice that your friend and classmate has died. There had been a fatal motorcycle accident during the night.
Saying good bye is one of the first steps in the grieving process. What if you don’t have that time to say good bye?
I was a sophomore in college and Easter has never been quite the same. I was angry. So many things were left unsaid. After his death, my friends and I went our different ways at the time I didn’t know why. We all had things we needed to say to our dead friend and to each other… all of us were grieving…
As a young adult, I had all this pent up anger, anxiety, hurt, I didn’t realize that was grief nor could I label those emotions. Life moved on. His memory was never too far away. It took many years, although I had gone through the bulk of my grief. I carried around a lot of anger.
One day a few years ago, a day when life had gone every way except the way I wanted it to, in frustration all my emotions came out. I am not a writer but I am a talker. In the quietness of my home, I had a conversation with my friend and God. I had been angry for so long that I had blamed God for his death. I had blamed my friend for the dissolution of our group of friends and finally after all the tears and my energy exhausted, it hit me.
The root of all my emotion was that I could not change that fact my friend had died. Sometimes to move on in life really means letting go. When you haven’t had the chance to say good-bye, we need to find a way to do it on our own terms.
Some ways to do that include:
Visiting the grave or a special place where you have good memories
Having a one sided conversation with the person
It may take one time or it may take twenty times. Sometimes it takes expressing our thoughts, to really put a label on our feelings, to be able to let go of our grief so we can move forward on our grief journeys.