Last week, I listened to a podcast interview with a man who thinks grief is a horrible thing and should be avoided at all costs. He believes this so strongly that he is working to develop a device that uses artificial intelligence to allow him to have “conversations” with his mother who died recently. This device learns the way she used to speak by listening to hundreds of recordings of her voice as she spoke with him.
This man is so driven to develop this device for himself and to share it with others that he is neglecting his health, he has become an alcoholic, and he let his marriage fail. All so he can bury the grief he doesn’t want to experience from losing his mother.
Nobody wants to lose a loved one. No one wants to grieve. But is grieving only a bad thing? Can anything good come from it?
In Ecclesiastes 7:2-3, Solomon said, “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.” (NLT)
Over the years, I have sung at hundreds of funerals, and every single one has reminded me to think about how short life is and how much I need to prepare for what comes next.
As I grieved the passing of my dad, I was blessed to hear stories from many people about what an impact he had on them. Of course, I’d much rather have had him there, but the stories they told and the warmth of the affection that people had for him were huge comforts for me.
Losing close family members has taught me a lot. Consider these lessons as you think about whether there really can be “good grief.”