Conquerors through Grief and Sorrow

17 Jun

Conquerors through Grief and Sorrow

“Funerals are for the living.” That’s what my father Edward G. Palmer used to tell me.

Ecclesiastes 9:5

New International Version (NIV)

For the living know that they will die,
but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
and even their name is forgotten.

Prayers, incense, the pouring of libation, the lighting of candles, wakes, viewings, observation of anywhere between seven and forty days are just a few of the rituals associated with mourning the death of a loved one. The songs sung and the music played at the funeral, viewing or wakes are all designed for families, friends and loved ones of the deceased. Even side shows, videos, photo displays are arranged to present fond memories of the one or ones who have passed away. We remember a life well lived.  The deceased has gone from labor to reward.

When someone close to us passes away we not only celebrate their life but we are faced with our own mortality. Numerous questions arise “Am I living my life to the fullest?”  “What will be my legacy once I leave this earth?” “Will I ever realize my deepest heartfelt desires, wishes and goals in this life?” “How can I get to the place I want to be in the short time available to us?”

Black Unicorn Rainbow

Black Unicorn moving towards the Rainbow

Our Earthly Time Span Question

Many of us try to establish patterns in our lives all in an effort to make it seem like we have control over adverse circumstances. Sometimes this involves lying to ourselves and others hiding our true feelings because nobody likes a sour puss. We’ve been taught to operate with a stiff upper lip, think positive and remain stoic in the face of adversity. However the inner collapse has already happened. Try as we might to stifle the surging volcano of frustration and discouragement sooner or later the top will blow. If not directed towards someone else suppressed anger manifests itself externally through headaches, stomach aches, forgetfulness, and joint pain, physical and/or mental exhaustion.  Frustration without resolution leads to discouragement.  These symptoms of a greater problem cause our souls and spirits to die small deaths each day. The cause is suppressed anger. A mismatch of expectations between what we want and what actually is. Once burnt twice shy, we are hesitant in putting ourselves in a place of vulnerability. Adversity causes us to be reborn as skeptics, a legion of Doubting Thomases/Thomasinas hemmed in by emotional barbed wire. We are misfits out of context with our perceived natural environment. Destinies aborted.

Everyone is assigned a ministry in this life. That is that something special that we are specifically anointed to do that no one else can perform because the position is uniquely designed for us. Not necessarily a calling to the collar but a mission and a purpose especially designed for us. When we fail to operate in that office we feel a tugging, a pulling apart within our spirits until we function within our calling.

Walking Dichotomies

Some of us seek to exchange our current stifling identifies for one provides the realization of an unattainable lifestyle.  Perhaps this explains the popularity of Superheroes in our culture.  Most Superheroes start off as ordinary people who through some serendipitous and unforeseen circumstance, happening or even accident are transformed into beings that not only have powers that enhance their lives and the ability to positively affect the lives of those around them.  In reality these super powers often have unanticipated consequences that change the lives of these Superheroes both positively and negatively.

Or we live vicariously through our children. Their lives are just beginning ours are either in the middle or at the end. Children represent a fresh start whereas middle and old age often find us cynical and jaded worn down by the realities of daily living. Will the purity and innocence of the young redeem those seeking another chance to capture the brass ring? Highly unlikely. We can no more embody their hopes, dreams and goals anymore than they can ours. Let us not make the mistake of forcing our lost vocations cut off midstream upon the young people in our lives.

Often we spend our lives trying to be someone else or attempting to meet the expectations of family and society. We strive to become the “other” all the while failing to live in the here and now.

Life is like marriage. We take this life for better or for worse, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health.  Like the Psalmist King David we feel that void of emptiness deep within our souls despite the outward appearance of privilege and comfort.

Psalm 42:5

New International Version (NIV)

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.


But as our Biblical counterparts Ruth, Esther, Judith, DeBorah and Mary we press on through the challenges, the defeats, the sorrows and the pain to see God’s promise revealed and manifested to us and others. We may suffer defeat in battle but we have won the war. We stand as warriors bruised yet conquerors.

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Thank you and God Bless.


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