Welcoming grief as a natural expression of love helps us understand the Savior as we search for peace and healing.
“I never cried for her once this week until the funeral” was what I wrote in my journal after my grandmother died. My emotional indifference was an accomplishment for me.
And so, when I broke down at her funeral, sobbing through a musical number, I was ashamed. “I should be over this by now,” I thought. “I should be stronger than this.”
In my mind, mourning had a time limit: it was appropriate for a while, then you moved on. Any sadness I felt after I first heard about my grandmother’s death was weakness.
But that’s not what grief is. Steven Eastmond, a licensed clinical social worker, redefines grief in his article “The Healing Power of Grief” as “the salve that helps us heal” instead of an obstacle to overcome.
Eastmond says that “grief is the price we pay for loving someone—and that the price is worth it.” Christ paid this same price while in Gethsemane.
The Savior, who departed “into a desert place apart” after hearing about John the Baptist’s martyrdom (Matthew 14:13) and who wept with Mary and Martha for Lazarus despite knowing he would soon raise him from the dead (John 11:34-36), was intimately familiar with how much pain loving others could bring. When we allow ourselves to grieve, we allow ourselves to understand the Savior’s experience with grief and find comfort knowing that he is aware of our struggles.
The next time I cry at a funeral, I’ll think, “I’m glad I loved them enough to grieve.”
Understand more about grief’s true purpose and process by reading Steven Eastmond’s full article “The Healing Power of Grief.”
—Rachel Peterson, Latter-day Saint Insights
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Find more insights
Read or listen to Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s testimony of how the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection can help us weather trials and loss in his address “Sunday Will Come.”
Discover how our knowledge of God’s Plan of Salvation can help our perspective toward death by reading Bradley Elders’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “The Good in Grief.”
See how experiencing grief led Ashley Isaacson Woolley to develop a more compassionate, motivated, and faithful heart in her article “The Refining Fire of Grief.”