On Distance and Grieving

This week I received the news that two wonderful men of God passed away.  One more recently than the other but I heard news of both less than 24 hours apart.  These men had different spheres of influence, however they are both dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

Earlier this year Ryan’s beloved Grandmother died.  She was a strong woman of God and a prayer warrior.  Although Ryan did return to Wisconsin for her funeral, most of the grieving process was still at a distance.


Grief takes on many forms and everyone feels their grief differently.  For me, being able to grieve with people, to share in the raw emotion and to exhaust the tears is freeing and allows me to get to those deeper places more quickly.  However, when I grieve at a distance those layers peel back more slowly in moments of memory and valleys of sadness.

Grief is also different when you know that person is a believer in Jesus Christ and that for them death is a glorious reunion with Christ.  It doesn’t remove the sadness, it doesn’t remove the pain but it is a reminder of the truth of the gospel and what as a Christian we should be striving for, storing up our treasures where it actually matters.

For many reasons, the song Christ is Risen by Matt Maher has been playing in my mind these past few days.  As Christians we know who the victor is, we can celebrate Christ’s victory over death and what that means for us eternally.  For us here on earth- “Blessed are those who mourn.”  But for those in Christ who die- “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”  The heavens rejoiced as they welcomed home these saints.

Christ is Risen- Matt Maher

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

2 thoughts on “On Distance and Grieving

  1. Thank you for sharing, Joy. While in Noway, I learned that our dear Australian friend, Robert, passed on just a week after he returned to Adelaide. Since wife Mairy remains in AU, we have not had a memorial service here, but Mairy sent news of his service and his eulogy. Sadly, I think of him as I recall wonderful memories of how this man was such a part of our Ovale Rotary Club. (He took several of us to AU twice!) You are so right in finding comfort that knowing the one who passed on is with our Maker. >

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