By Warren Olson
Betsy was heartbroken. She had just recently lost her husband of 57 years. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, she had no idea what she would do. There would be no flowers this year. No special gifts. And no notes.
Betsy’s struggles are familiar to many—perhaps even to you. That’s because at a time when many people are celebrating love, there are many like Betsy to whom this day is a tough reminder of tragic loss.
Most people who are experiencing a holiday like Valentine’s Day after the loss of a loved one react in one of two ways: They either try to put the whole thing out of their mind, or they let the burden and grief of their loss overcome them, and they sink into depression.
But neither of these reactions are particularly healthy—nor helpful. So what does the Bible say about how to deal with a burden like grief, especially at a time when it seems so heavy?
Well, Jesus gives us some clear guidance on how to deal with even our heaviest burden. He tells us in Matthew 11:28-30…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In other words, bring the burden of your grief to the feet of Jesus, lay it down and let Him deal with it, and take His yoke upon you. Exchange the pain of your loss for obedience to God’s calling—because that’s a much lighter burden!
Now what might that look like? Well, maybe you use Valentine’s Day to celebrate the loss of a loved one by expressing your love for someone who’s also lonely, or perhaps unable to get out of the house.
One idea I’ve seen is to send a nice Valentine’s card, or visit a friend with a special picnic lunch. This simple act of service will bless your friends. But most importantly, you’ll be honoring the Lord’s command to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
There’s no magic bullet for making it through a holiday like Valentine’s Day after the loss of a loved one. But if you’ll give your grief to God and put your energy into following His command to love others, you’ll find your burden becoming much lighter.
For more biblical encouragement about grief, love, and other issues, visit our Resource Library at SeniorLivingMinistries.org today!