Please Don’t Get Over It

We sat with our friends exactly two weeks after they buried their firstborn son. Baby Ollie’s bouncy seat was empty by my feet as we looked through pictures of his gorgeous almond eyes and rose petal lips, and his daddy told stories about the two days they were face to face with him.

Ollie’s daddy talked and his mama smiled gently, and their faces looked changed from the last time we saw them. They’ll never be the same again.

Time heals, yes.

Life will continue and even be sweet again. They know this.

But their eyes will always hold shadows that weren’t there before.

As if they could be anything but different after laying a part of their hearts in the Indiana soil.

There are things about this world that knock dents in the core of us. Broken, terrible things like baby-sized coffins, and cancer that steals mamas, and conversations ended by old age, and unmendable relationships, and sin-wounds that breed more sin-wounds. There are things that upend us and shift our souls in ways that make it hard to recognize ourselves.

We grieve with hope. Yes. Yes, we do.

But that does not mean we get over it.

Please don’t get over it.

Grieving friend, dear friend whipped sideways by pain, those shadows are in your eyes because your soul is deepening, stretching, overlapping into eternity. That isn’t something to be gotten beyond.

Don’t get over it. Don’t get over the things that lean hard into your heart, those things that crush your ease and change the way you see. Don’t get over the ways your spirit is being moved and reshaped, pressed into the likeness of the One who carried His scars beyond the grave.

Grieve with hope, yes.

Not hope that things will ever be the way they were before, because they won’t.

Not hope that you will forget the ache of this season, because you won’t.

Grieve, friend, with the hope that the flimsy things of this world will never be enough to satisfy you, because you know there is something more. Weep, feel it deep, and trace the gentle face of the One who comes close to catch your tears. Cry with the hope that we are held firm, and none of this is wasted. Wrestle through it, talk it out, take the time to break open with hope, because the deepest healing comes to those who are broken all the way down.

Let hope strengthen your shivering bones, straighten your slumped shoulders, open your heavy eyes, and draw you forward into a story that’s wider and deeper than you ever knew was possible. Let hope quiet your soul so you can hear the bright echoes of eternity just around the corner.

It really is coming.

So please, please don’t get over it.

We’re not meant to stay the same, to carry on as we always have. What a tragedy that would be.

God is already picking up those shattered pieces of the you that was and putting them together in a new way, a breathtaking shape that catches His glory and flings shimmering hope into the dark corners of a grieving world.

Lift your changed eyes, friend. It’s beautiful.

“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:3-4 (NLT)

30 Comments

  1. Mary Beekman
    Jul 18, 2017

    Beautiful!

  2. David Abernathy
    Jul 18, 2017

    Yes. This is true. We don’t get over losing loved ones. We can move on, but the imprint is always in our hearts. That’s how we are made. In the cemetery next door to us I have observed flowers put on the grave of someone who had died sixty years earlier.

    • Molly Strelickland
      Jul 20, 2017

      And that is what we do. We continue to love, to celebrate life, their life, and most of all treasure and remember–40 years later. We forever remain a part of us, a blessing in our lives.

  3. Kalissa
    Jul 18, 2017

    Thank you for posting this Beth. I really appreciate your beautiful, true words and I needed to read them today.

  4. Melissa Ottney
    Jul 18, 2017

    Such a beautiful letter. God bless your heart for being able to see your friends hurting and sharing in their loss. You are a blessing.

  5. Doralyn
    Jul 19, 2017

    Beautiful prose and awesome sentiments. Literary fiction may be calling your name.

  6. Kim Nolywaika
    Jul 19, 2017

    I do not know where to begin to say thank you for this. You have ministered to me today.

  7. Marilyn
    Jul 19, 2017

    Beautiful beyond words!

  8. Freda
    Jul 19, 2017

    Beautiful and true.

  9. Renee Campbell
    Jul 19, 2017

    This is absolutely gorgeous and so true. Life will never be the same and we will always have different eyes and see things differently. I needed this tonight, thank you!

  10. Kat Willson
    Jul 20, 2017

    Each time I’m shattered and the tears fall. I look to the heavens and cry out with my tiny bit of hope and he dries my tears straightens my spine lifts my head and I feel a new strength growing. I thank God for hope. I thank God this morning for you and your beautiful words that express exactly the process of what happens to me. Hope to be with myvLord hope to be with my Harrison xxx❤️

  11. Kay Horton
    Jul 20, 2017

    So well written, we do grieve, but not as those who have no hope. Praise God for the empty tomb!

    • Annnette
      Jul 20, 2017

      Beautiful thoughts…. Hope for the future…….Life changes…..we do grieve for loved ones but with hope…..

  12. trinity bonner
    Jul 20, 2017

    Wow! brought tears to my eyes. very wonderfully written. I hope it can reach many people and give them hope and want to learn more about our heavenly father. My prayers are with you. I to have lost a child, chained by drugs and abuse, homeless. But God was there to hold me and wipe my tears.

  13. Fenna
    Jul 20, 2017

    Made me start to cry. I know my heart that it will never be the same without my son and grandson. Those losses are so great and only God can remake my heart into something new.
    I will grieve til the day I die. Then joy will be all surpassing as I am reunited with my loved ones. Hope of that is what keeps me moving forward each day.

  14. Karen M Patterson
    Jul 20, 2017

    You surely have a gift. Your writing is beautiful as is the message. It really struck a chord in me. I lost my beautiful son in 2008 just shy of his 19th birthday, and the words you’ve written here make more sense to me than anything I’ve ever read on this type of loss. Thank you.

  15. Eileen M Kimber
    Jul 21, 2017

    Very true.

  16. Susan Williams
    Jul 22, 2017

    Beth, this was one of your masterpieces! I shared it on my page and SO many people have commented. One gal has struggled, as you, with missing her mom who died “too young” from cancer. What a blessing for others has come out of your sharing JoyLily and her husband’s pain.

  17. LisaJo
    Jul 22, 2017

    What an incredibly thoughtful way to try to explain what happens when we lose someone. It’s only through that loss that we know how to help other friends going through loss. Thank you for being there with me when I went through my loss.

  18. Mary Beth Johnson
    Jul 24, 2017

    Beautifully said. Came across this post that had been shared in a grief FB group I’m in. Tears were on the verge of falling as I read this. Eighteen years after the plane crash, I still miss my sweet boy Joseph, just 9 1/2 when he died. He loved flying in “his Clipper” with Daddy. And though I’m happily remarried and blessed with three “bonus” daughters and in so many other ways, I sometimes still miss Mitch and our life together with Joseph. I have found joy in my life but sometimes it’s still hard.

    • beth
      Jul 24, 2017

      I love how God can hold the depth and breadth of emotion all at the same time. You and everything you bring to the table are a blessing to Jeff and those fabulous girls! Hugs.

  19. Paula Parker
    Jul 25, 2017

    This is beautiful beyond my ability to express. Thank you.

  20. peggybaker
    Jul 25, 2017

    and you mever will

  21. Nesa
    Jul 27, 2017

    How beautifully written, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring the comfort that only he can. May I use your words to comfort others? So many of my classmates have lost spouses, parents and siblings since our last reunion five years ago. Very soon we will all gather and the names of classmates no longer with us will be read. I am confident your timely words would ease many a wounded heart. Thank you for sharing !

    • beth
      Jul 28, 2017

      Yes, feel free to share it with your classmates. Blessings on you as you gather and remember.

  22. K Ann Guinn
    Jul 28, 2017

    How beautiful and true. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  23. Janice Bernier
    Jul 28, 2017

    This message touched me so very deeply. I have 2 children who are already in heaven, a son only 2 days after birth, and my beautiful daughter at age 34. My sister also left us way too soon for our understanding. I have to remind myself often that only God knows why because He is God, but your written message also gives meaning to my loss. Thank you.

    • beth
      Jul 28, 2017

      I’m so sorry for your losses. Praying God continues to comfort your heart. Blessings.

  24. Grace L. Miller
    Jul 28, 2017

    So very well shared, my husband and I have walked a valley, filled with love, grief, & more grief! Today we hold in our hearts 3 living children, its the other 18 pregnancies that have caused us to realize more deeply Gods tremendous grace in our everyday lives.

    • beth
      Jul 28, 2017

      Wow, so much loss… Praying you continue to heal as you cling to God’s grace.

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