The Grief Of Death
By Phil Scovell
My father died unexpectedly when I was eleven years of age.
One year later, to the exact date, I came home from the hospital
after a dozen operations on my retinas. I had been pronounced
totally blind and told I would never see again.
I well remember that day and not because of my blindness.
It was late afternoon when we left the hospital so mom and I
stopped to pick up some hamburgers as we began the 270 mile trip
back to Omaha where we lived. It was November 13, 1964. My
father had died exactly one year ago. You could feel the sadness
and the coldness and the grief hanging in the air in the car as
we drove through the darkness that night.
Over the next few weeks and months, my younger sister, Ruth,
who was seven years old at the time, and my mom, became my best
friends. The hardest part soon became leaving and going to a
school for the blind 45 miles away and only coming home on
weekends. Yet, as I said, Ruth and mom became my best friends.
Sure, I developed many other friends over the years but I will
never forget what my mom and sister did for me in those early
days of my blindness.
I started with this small amount of background information
because when my mother died less than a year from when I wrote
this article, I felt little sense of grief. Oh, sure, I cried at
the funeral as hard as anyone and I had to be one of the speakers
at the service, too. Yes, I have cried many times since my
mother died some 10 months ago now. Yes, I will cry often
throughout my life just as I have concerning the death of my
father. It isn't abnormal but sometimes it is useful in finding
areas of woundedness which needs healing. If there are indeed
areas of healing to be done, your grief very easily becomes
abnormal and never goes away until you are healed by the Lord.
Mom had her first stroke about 7 years before she died. She
recovered probably about 90 percent of her capacity but it was
not quite the same thereafter. It seemed to me that I somehow
realized at that time of my life that my mother, my best friend
as a child, wasn't going to be around forever and I said my
goodbyes to her then in my heart. Yet, as I said, I cried, and
cried hard, when she died and for the days surrounding her
recently, one of our old basset hounds developed a large
cancerous tumor in his throat. You could feel it from the
outside. He was given pain medication and seemed to be doing
well but soon the tumor grew so large, it made it difficult for
him to even swallow normally. It was time to put him to sleep
because it was inoperable and he was beginning to suffer.
Not wishing to take him to be put to sleep in an office, we
paid for a vet to come to our home. I said my goodbyes to
Barney, as I pet him for a little while, and walking out on to
our deck and closing the door behind me, I sat down on the porch
swing. I didn't want to be in the room when he went to sleep.
I cried that Sunday afternoon off and on for hours. I knew
some of it was due to my sorrow for my wife because she really
loved Barney and it was very hard on her. I also knew there was
something stirring in my emotions that led to another event in my
life but no matter how much I prayed, I could not get a handle on
the event. I figured when the time came, the Lord would let me
know and I stopped trying to figure it out on my own.
Three days later, I thought of Barney once again, as I had
been each day since his death, and felt tears creep into the
corners of my eyes. He had been a good dog and the first basset
hound we ever had. Suddenly, I realized the pain was deep inside
of me and too deep to be the emotions related to the death of a
pet. I immediately said, "Lord, where does this pain take me?"
I figured I would end up at my dad's death, which I often do when
something needs healing, or at my days of going blind in the
hospital, which also often comes up when I need healing. This is
due to the amount of trauma experienced in these two events and I
am not completely healed of all the woundedness in these two
major events of my life as of yet. This time, however, I was
surprised to discover I ended up at my mother's death.
At the moment I realized I was in the very recent memory of
my mother's death, I knew what was wrong on the surface. I also
knew that could not be the real problem. Let me explain what I
am talking about.
For probably the last two months of her life, my mother
could not walk, even across the room, without help. When we took
her to the doctor, they felt one of her legs should be removed
below the knee because there was just no circulation. It had to
be removed, therefore, so she was placed into the hospital and it
was done. Following the surgery, mom actually did very well, we
all thought, but suddenly she had a massive stroke and all
communications with her was lost. She was moved to a hospice
where she died several days later; never speaking to us again.
A small bit of some type of anger grew inside of me, to some
degree, and sadden me in other ways. I could not determine what
it was or why. However, every time I thought of mom, I thought
of her dying with only one leg. That in itself seemed irrational
to me so I knew that was not the real cause of my pain. Yet it
had something to do with it or did it.
When the Lord led me back to those recent memories relating
to mom's last hospitalization, The Holy Spirit quietly spoke to
me in my thoughts and said, "How did you feel about your mother's
I said, "I felt sad, of course."
"What else did you feel?" He prompted.
"I felt alone and I knew I would miss her but I was ready
for it I think."
"What else did you feel?" He prompted once again.
"I felt like we should have done something."
"Something about what?"
"Something about them removing her leg."
"What should you have done?"
"We should have told them no."
"Because, we knew she was going to die and we shouldn't have
put her through such a horrible thing."
"So what was wrong?" the Holy Spirit said.
"We should have taken charge."
"We? Don't you mean something else?" He questioned.
I said, "Yes, I should have taken charge."
I knew then what my problem was. I felt a personal
responsibility at the time to have said, no, we aren't removing
her leg. Why did I think I should have taken charge? Because I
must have known in my heart that mom wasn't going to make it
through this one this time and she was going to go home to be
with the Lord. Yet I did nothing. Guilt was the result.
Recognizing the real truth of what was bothering me and
seeing the quiet guilt that lay dormant until the death of one of
our favorite dogs stirred up the emotions relating to that guilt,
I said to the Lord, "Then what is your truth about this
The Lord said, "You think you should have taken charge to
help your mother but you were not ever in charge of that
situation because I was."
I was instantly released from the guilt. All I have just
described took about one minute of prayer time.
There are some things we need to talk about now concerning
1. There was no sin involved at any time; not before,
during, or after.
2. The feeling of guilt was apart of the grief but wasn't
generated by sins committed.
3. Even this natural sense of guilt generated by a normal
grieving process, would eventually have created an atmosphere
whereby the enemy could have gained a foothold in my life. Why?
Read the next point for that answer.
4. The guilt was a small implanted demonic lie. I know
this because what I believed was not even true. If something
isn't true, what is it?
5. Jesus exposed the lie. He showed me that I wanted to
take charge of the situation but informed me He had been in
charge of the situation from the beginning. Thus, my guilt was
invalid, that is, it was based upon a lie or false information at
6. I was healed. The Lord Jesus spoke to the problem,
exposing it for what it was, and then took the burden off of me
and placed it upon Himself. It instantly released me. I
actually felt this process occur at the moment He spoke His Words
of truth to me.
Does this mean I no longer will miss my mother? No, it does
not mean that. It means that the enemy tried to implant a small
little bit of falsehood, or what the Bible calls a lie, into an
event in my life. Why would he do this? So he could use it
later against me at another time where it could do the most
damage. Without the Lord's help, I never would have seen the
truth about my feelings relating to my mother's death.
"What about your dog, Barney. Was that of God?
Here is what you really are asking. Did the Lord take your
dog to teach you something? the answer is, no. Barney died due
to natural causes over which we had no control. Did the Lord use
this situation to bring about more healing in my life? Yes, He
most certainly did. The enemy, however, also tried using it. He
tried to use my sorrow and tap into the little lie he had placed
in my thinking to create even more grief and confusion in my
life. Why would the enemy do that? Because he tries to keep us
from walking close to God and from keeping Jesus from being other
than the Lord of our life.
What about the grief you carry? Is it really about a pet or
a friend or a mate or a relative who has passed away or is it
about pain buried deep within you somewhere? Are you afraid to
let Jesus the Healer see that pain? Is your Christian pride
getting in the way or are you just being deceived by the enemy?
It is time to hear the truth from the True Lord Jesus Christ and
be healed. You can keep carrying the burden of grief all you
want but you will soon learn it only becomes heavier and heavier
as the years go by. Jesus died and was resurrected to set you
End Of Document
Go To HOME