Grief That Feels Like Guilt

C. S. Lewis once said that grief feels a lot like fear. Mine is feeling more like guilt.

Today is my little sister’s birthday, the seventh she has celebrated in heaven with Jesus. And I’m feeling guilty. Guilty that my life is going on without her. Guilty that there are whole days, sometimes weeks when I don’t think of her. Guilty because I get to be with my spouse, my kids, my grandkids while she does not.

I know she’s happy with Jesus. That heaven wipes away all tears. That somehow she doesn’t perceive loss the same way we do. My head tells me those things.

But my heart wonders how that’s possible. My heart says it just wouldn’t be the same to watch my child’s marriage or grandchild’s graduation from afar, even if afar was in heaven.

So I feel guilty. But even as I do, I can imagine D’Lynne’s words if she were here to deliver them: “Get over it, Mike. This isn’t about you,” she would say. “How dare you waste time pitying me!”

Then, in a softer tone and with laughter in her eyes, “I  am OK, you know. Can’t explain it so you’d understand, but in His presence really is fullness of joy.”

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I wrote a letter to D’Lynne on her first birthday after her death. Here’s the link.

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