This past Sunday I spoke at our (Altus Hospice) semi-annual memorial service. I had planned on posting the video, but cannot because of an audio problem on the video. Weird. Everything was working just fine when we checked audio/video levels after set-up. So, I thought I’d write a summary of what I talked about.

I started out by pulling items from a bag that reminded me of memories about my grandmother, mom, the kids, and my wife. As I pulled stuff from the bag I talked about those memories and then challenged everyone to think about the memories they have of their loved one.

Life is filled with memories … Christmas holidays, July 4 celebrations, and Sunday dinners. When you lose a loved one, think about those moments.

Solomon wrote, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. …  A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. …  God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (selected verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1-11).

God wants us to remember. Take time to look at pictures and tell stories. Share those memories with friends and family. Lean on those around you. Grief is not a solo act. Celebrate together. Cry together. Laugh together. Helen Keller said, “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

Remember, grief is a process and very personal. Don’t focus on the time … i.e. How long will it hurt? Time alone does not heal all wounds. It’s what you do with the time that heals! Celebrate, cry, and laugh with those around you and lean on Jesus.