Coping With Grief
COPING WITH GRIEF
By Mavis Hunt
( New Zealand).
Having enjoyed 63 years of a wonderful marriage it comes as a tremendous shock when your loved one goes to be with the Lord and you are suddenly that single, sobbing soul left walking through the valley of the shadow. They are in the light! Unbeknown to me, my younger son had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had not told anyone till after my late husband Ian’s funeral. The family held back for another week before telling me. That’s when I just didn’t know how I would cope with what lay ahead. Sharing later the devastating news with a close friend, she was praying and asking how to respond to me. The word she shared was “Remember Mavis, underneath are the everlasting arms”
(Deuteronomy 33:27). That night as I went to bed, I remember thinking I would sleep, held by His arms. It was a chilly night, so l reached down to the end of the bed and pulled Ian’s mohair rug up for extra warmth. As I did, I heard in my heart the words of a song we used to sing: “Cover me, cover me. Extend the border of Thy mantle over me, for You are my dearest kinsman, cover me, cover me”. I lay down at peace and then heard something wonderful.
“Underneath are the everlasting arms. Now you are covered with My love.
I have now cocooned you totally. You are safe. You will stay there. You will never be the same again. Things will change while I have you cocooned. One day you will emerge very different.” I did not realize it was painful when cocooned and changing. But the peace was wonderful and sleeping became refreshing again.
Four months later my lovely son Stephen died. Then, in the following three years I have had to see nine close family and friends leave for heaven. I have wept so many tears but know one day I will be joining them again.
Now Kerry, Stephen’s widow, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but I am so grateful I can walk with Kerry along the way, trusting in our Heavenly Father’s great love and mercy. I also sense I am emerging from the cocoon, slowly, gently, and in God’s way. He knows the path I shall tread, or the flight path I will go in the future, for He has planned it all.
For all those experiencing grief, listen to that still small voice; it will be for you exclusively, as we are each so loved by our Father individually. He cares so much for you. Often the clarity of the voice may be the main thing that gives you the power to endure the subsequent testing. We cannot do without God speaking to us today....to warm, guide, inspire, deliver, comfort, predict, and break through every kind of barrier that seems designed to trip us up.
I just marvel at the opportunities that are opening before me.....no striving, trying, but resting in those everlasting arms. and even joy
that is coming in the morning (after the mourning).
(Mavis Hunt is Rodney and Jean’s sister-in-law).