Pages Navigation Menu

Grieving as a Gift?

I know some aren’t going to like this analogy. Not sure I like it myself, but most of us know that when our stomachs are sick and we feel like throwing up–if we would just get it over with, many times we feel better instantly.

Still, we fight it.

I believe it’s the same with grieving. You know it will make you feel better, but you put it off or stuff it down. All the while you remain sick for a longer time than if you’d just embraced it.

cryAs we continue reading Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg, so many quotes stood out to me. She describes the advancing stages of her cancer treatment and finding the space to grieve. Here are a couple of shorter ones,

Sometimes we need to give place to grief in order to make room for joy. No one is immune to sorrow, and only those who learn to grieve well can recapture the healing it brings. (Pg. 72)

The more we strive to hold everything together, the more we fall apart. (Pg. 79)

King Solomon may have finished his life in a less than stellar way, but he is still the wisest man who ever lived. In the book of Ecclesiastes, we read this familiar passage.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance. –Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

I think my issue has been that I’ve always seen one as bad and one as good.

  • Laughing=good. Weeping=bad.
  • Dancing=good. Mourning=bad.

Grieving is a gift of God because it’s needed to lead us to joy. Weeping can clear a path to the very throneroom of heaven as honesty replaces brave fronts and callousness. There is an appointed time to weep and mourn just as there is to laugh and dance.

All these events are valuable, beautiful, and needed.

One more quote,

All those tears were cleansing me. This grieving was washing away my secondhand priorities, reservoirs of ingratitude embedded in my soul, strongholds of immaturity that should have disappeared long ago. Through the passageway of tears, I was able to reawaken to life’s beauty. –Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy (pg. 81)

Grieving is a (dare I say) wonderful part of our experience, the grace of God expressed to us. The surrounding circumstances may be negative and taxing, but the process doesn’t have to be–and He’s there and faithful through it all.

Sometimes the better gift is the one we need, not the one we think we want.

How about you? Have you ever seen grieving as something negative or to be avoided? Do you tend to fight your season or embrace it?

fbwj-buttonWelcome to week 6 of our discussion of Fight Back with Joy (disclosure) by Margaret Feinberg. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

 Loading InLinkz ...


  1. “Sometimes the better gift is the one we need, not the one we think we want.”

    As much as I don’t think I appreciate grieving, it does cleanse the soul… Excellent post and thoughts. I’ll be pondering this one for a while.

    • Thanks for pondering with me, Floyd. Really is a different way for me to look at this.

  2. Grieving is something that shouldn’t be avoided at all. But of course, we all have our own way of grieving. When my Mom started her chemo treatment I grieved right along side with her. When she passed away in February I didn’t feel the need to grieve at all. That doesn’t mean I didn’t wake up one night weeping, just that the crying didn’t last more than one night.
    Ed recently posted..Separation AnxietyMy Profile

    • You bring up something I thought about, but didn’t want to get into in the post. As Ecclesiastes says, “there is a time” and “season” for every event. Mourning has a time. Grieving has a season. If we don’t recognize when it’s over, we can get stuck. We have to know ourselves and know the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth. Again, so sorry for your loss, Ed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I’ll admit, this part of the book tore me up, Jason. While I’ve experienced my share of loss, I really do hate grieving. Margaret caused me to see this process in a different light. And also helped me to realize how much “stuffing” I’d been doing.

    I enjoy helping others work through their pain and grief but so often ignore my own. Ugh.

    It’s not healthy.

    I like your analogy about nausea. It’s very fitting. We feel terrible, avoid puking, but feel much better when it is over. It clears our system of all the junk and sickness.

    I have several posts in draft related to this topic. I don’t know when I’ll get to share them due to the issues that I’m having physically but that’s okay. I’ve learned from them myself.

    Grief is a part of life. We can sidestep it all that we want but when we do it will cost us. That was one of the great takeaways that I had from the book. I can cultivate joy all that I want but if I don’t first shed the stuff that clogs me up and make room for it, I’ve skipped an important part of the process.

    I’d been doing that. I’m reading “The Grief Handbook” and working on letting go of some things so that I can find new joy in Jesus!

    Hopefully I’ll learn that grieving is a gift. Love these quotes btw. Some of my favorites from the book!

    • “I can cultivate joy all that I want but if I don’t first shed the stuff that clogs me up and make room for it, I’ve skipped an important part of the process.” This is so key! We want one without the other and God doesn’t allow us to bypass His process (thankfully). I’m learning too, but He’s so good and patient! Thank so much, Melinda. Great thoughts.

  4. Jason, your post here has convinced me that I need to order Margaret’s book to give to my mother. It will have been a year this month since my father passed, and she still hasn’t allowed herself to embrace grief. I’m praying that in reading this book, the floodgates of grief and the ensuing healing and joy it brings will help her.
    When I lost my husband 18 years ago, I read every book on grief I could lay my hands on (wish Margaret’s had been around then), including “A Grief Observed” by C. S. Lewis which actually helped me the most. My joy did return to my soul in the midst of my journey through the pain and sorrow. Mourning and weeping do have their natural place in our lives.
    Martha Orlando recently posted..The Work of Human HandsMy Profile

    • That’s great to hear, Martha. I hope it impacts her positively and allows her that release. I’ve never read that particular book of Lewis’ but it sounds very good. So glad you recovered your joy in the midst of such intense pain. I can’t imagine. Blessings to you and thank you, Martha.

  5. Love how you sum up the grieving process, Jason. Especially love how you relate it to getting sick. “if we would just get it over with, many times we feel better instantly.”
    Margaret Feinberg recently posted..Bible Scholar Answers Your Tough Bible QuestionsMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Margaret. Blessings to you!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This