Grief can be the soil, not the weed.
January can be a sad time of year. The nights are still long, the temperatures low and seasonal affective disorder hangs in the air like fog.
But sadness also means that the worst is over. The bereavement, the break-up, the bad decision is in the past. The pain and the anger is replaced by sadness. The realisation grows that you don’t have to tough it out – you are now in the aftermath, not the eye of the storm.
If you are driven by faith, it is tempting to see grief or sadness as a weakness, or even a sin.
1 Peter v 5 says “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” The tendency therefore is to castigate yourself for not putting brave, happy face on all life’s trials.
But there is no justification for this. John 11 33-35 tells the story of Jesus coming to the aid of Mary, sister of Mary and Lazarus after hearing of the latter’s fatal illness. After Martha threw herself at Jesus’ feet and implored him for help, we read that “Jesus wept.” He felt sad because he could see the impact the death had on Mary and Martha. He knew Lazarus and loved him too. For him, grief was not a weakness. In fact, it fuelled a miracle. Of course, we feel sad when we experience unnecessary death, cruelty, injustice and wrongdoing causing pain. We cry when we see the effects of natural and man-made disasters. The message here is not man-up, tough it out and suppress emotion.
That would be entirely unhuman.
Jesus was perfect, he was the earthbound manifestation of God, he had never sinned. Yet he wept. His disciples saw him weep. Later they saw him sweat blood in the garden of Getsemane the night before his crucifixion. God was sad after Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked. After the end of innocence we had grief written into our DNA.
Grief is the trigger mechanism built into our complicated psychology that makes us aware of the broken world around us. We don’t rejoice in suffering, we do something about it. God sacrificed his son to save a seriously messed-up world. We can assume that this was not a joyful experience.
So you can process grief, and not feel inadequate about it. You are entitled to feel sadness and compassion towards yourself as well as others – a feeling that takes over from the anger and hate. That feeling is natural, God-given – and productive. You’ve earned it. So use it. We know that grief produces some of the best rescues and reforms. Not to mention great art.
Just ask Adele.
The Goa Express – Second Time (Second Time single 2021)
The Lathums – How Beautiful Life Can Be (Acappella / single mix) (How Beautiful Life Can Be 2021)
CJ Pandit – Digital Love (Just Before You Disappear 2021)
Drug Store Romeos – Frame of Reference (Single 2021)
Fred Again – Julia (Deep Diving) Actual Life (April 14 – December 17, 2020) Actual Life 2 (February 2 – October 15, 2021)
Claud – Gold (Super Monster 2021)
Zoe Wees – Control (Golden Wings EP 2021)
Lewis Capaldi – Before You Go (Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent 2019)
Tim Hardin – It’ll Never Happen Again (Tim Hardin 1 1966)
Taylor Swift – All Too Well (Red 2012 / Red Taylor’s Version 2021 10 minute version)
The Ataris – The Saddest Song (So Long, Astoria 2003)
The Dream Academy – It’ll Never Happen Again (A Different Kind of Weather 1990)
Josh Epifanio – Agave Blues (Agave Blues Single 2021)
Phoebe Bridgers – Motion Sickness (Stranger in the Alps, 2017)
Charlotte OC – Cut the Rope (Colour My Heart EP 2013)
Lady Blackbird – Collage (Black Acid Soul 2022)
Emmy Meli – I am Woman (Single 2021) / Matrix 2021 single
Houis x Indigo Eyes x Taura Lamb – Sad all the Time (Single 2021)
SZA – Good Days (Single 2021)
Yola – Faraway Look (Walk Through Fire 2019)
PP Arnold – Life is But Nothing (The First Lady of Immediate 1967)
Daisy Gray – Almost to the Moon (Single 2021)
Gracey – Empty Love (Acoustic) (Art of Closure mini album 2021)
Lady Blackbird – It’ll Never Happen Again (Black Acid Soul 2021)