I lost my wife about a year ago to cancer, and I just can't get over it. People were very concerned at first, but now no one calls to see how I'm doing, and I'm so lonely. I've never been religious, but maybe you can help me. — C.F.
Thank you for your letter; one reason I wanted to print it is because I hope it will encourage all of us to be more concerned about those who grieve. Yes, it's good to provide a meal or send flowers at the time of the funeral—but what about six months later? The Bible tells us to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).
Almost nothing in life is as painful as the loss of a loved one (whether their death was anticipated, or sudden and unexpected). Nor does the shock and sadness go away easily or quickly. Recovering from grief, I've come to realize, isn't an event but a process—a process that may take a long time. But listen: With God's help it can happen.
You see, the most important thing I can tell you is that God loves you, and He understands what you're going through. After all, He knows what it is to lose a loved one, for He allowed His only Son to die on a cross for you. This is why the most important step you can take is to respond to His love by asking Christ to come into your life. With Him you are never alone.
Then I urge you to reach out to others who know what it is to grieve. You need them—and they need you! Many churches today, for example, have regular "grief groups" for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.