Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)

Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)

Living and Growing: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Ever have to say goodbye unexpectedly? A car accident, a drug overdose, shooting or sudden infant death syndrome? Saying goodbye, when there is no physical goodbye to the ones we love, stops our heart and holds a small ache within our very souls. How can we handle these goodbyes?

Doctors, psychiatrist and very smart people will tell us to deal with it by allowing us to feel emotions, by seeking help, to be sure to share our thoughts and feelings and being kind to ourselves. All great advice, which also happens to align with what the Bible has told us:

• Share your hurt with Him: Matthew 11:28-29

• Shelter yourself in His safety: Psalms 46:1-3

• The pain will subside in time: Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

When sharing our hurt, it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to be angry, it’s OK to be hurt, let God know. Shelter yourself is taking care of yourself. It is waking up, showering, making your bed and taking one day at a time. Allow others to come and help, don’t do it yourself – for some, this may be hard, but it is important that you allow others to come along side you.

Some of the very smart people did miss one key ingredient in helping people with their sudden goodbyes. There is hope beyond the right here and right now. For those who love and accept Jesus as Lord and savior there is hope.

“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14

I hope over time the memories made with our loved ones will never fade. I hope and pray time will ease the ache in our hearts and hopefully that hurt will turn into tears of joy. Dr. Suess said it best “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” For all of those who have had an unexpected goodbye hold on to the hope, that one day you will smile because you were part of their life and they were part of yours. For those who know Jesus and their loves ones to, wait for the embrace that will come through hope that only comes through Jesus Christ.

• Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. “Living and Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Saturday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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