What seem to be steel walls are closing in around your body, slowly but all too quickly. The air is thick; breathing is painfully panicky, your lungs gasp for oxygen but it is as though their elasticity has vanished. Your lungs are trapped, there is no room for expansion. An iron fist is actually clenching your very heart. Hope exists only in escape, escaping your very own skin. And that escape doesn't seem right.
Soon it hits your soul like a sledge hammer: the walls closing in are not steel at all, but are walls of reality. Life has crumbled on top of you leaving despair, confusion, brokenness in replace of confidence.
The nightmare is reality and the one you loved dearly has vanished from the earth. You knew it was coming, or maybe you didn't, and yet death's shock is more than you ever expected. Your heart hurts in a literal and physical sense. It is unexplainable. The memories unfold like a video tape replaying itself over and over again in your mind. One moment you're fine and the next you're shedding tears of grief. Whether a [grand]parent, a sibling, a friend, a miscarriage...death shouts finality and it ushers in angry agony.
Lazarus died. Death gave its sting, his family was mourning, and the walls of panic were closing in. And Jesus wept. He didn't try to sugar coat his death, even though He was about to raise Lazarus back to life. Jesus didn't throw cliche pick-me-up phrases at this family in an attempt to make Himself feel better. Jesus didn't see it necessary to try and fix their pain with words of comfort; He knew that their pain ran so deeply within their veins that sympathy words would do no good. No, Jesus wept. Jesus mourned. Jesus felt the agony with them, He co-suffered, He had compassion. And co-suffering [weeping with those who are mourning] takes pressure off when you realize you do not need to share sympathetic words that may only hurt more. Instead of filling the thick air with well-intended-words that actually deepen the hurt, let your heart go to the place of pain with them and weep. Mourn. Feel. Pray. Ask Jesus to fill the air and to be close and to give comfort; He will.
And if you're the beautiful soul with walls closing in [breathing becoming difficult] and the desire to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed? That is okay. You are okay. You have permission to mourn and to weep and to feel. Let those feely feels free; scream into a pillow. It may take months, years, to completely process this loss. And that is okay. Shower tears are the best tears because they blend right in with the water. The bathroom door is locked and tears are washed away as they fall from your eyes. Invite someone into your heart whom you trust; someone you know will mourn with you, feel with you, co-suffer with you...pray with you. Invite them in and give them the honor of feeling with you; I assure you, it is their honor.
That is the ultimate permission for us to weep.