Good Grief

Cassie Lynn Allen

Is there any such thing as grief which is good? Grief is horrible. Terrible. Life-altering.

Last month I was calmly working through the piles of paper on my desk, so happy that I finally had a chance to get all of this work done, when the phone buzzed in. It was a hospital chaplain asking me to call my sister-in-law immediately.

I was worried her mother had died, or even that my brother had died. I was absolutely floored when I learned that my dear niece had died.

It’s not that it’s not my story to tell, although it isn’t really. But there’s not much of a story. She had stomach pains and digestive issues and was admitted into the hospital. In the morning she wanted to shower so they left her alone, and when they returned she had died.

More info will pan out, but having only one niece and a small family, I’ve felt the loss acutely. And her beloved daughters are being well looked after, and prayed for to no end.

Still, it’s a difficult time. As much as I deal with death, dying, those bereaved – and have dealt with it all in my own life – this has struck me in a profound way. I never anticipated this happening, and it’s been a cause for great reflection.

And the painful reality is, that life goes on. Life goes on in all of it’s fullness and beauty, and a new generation needs the strength of those left behind to witness. If you may, please pray for the repose of the soul of my niece, and for the consolation and welfare of her two daughters.

But life goes on. Life is changed, not ended, and life is for the living.

Cassie and daughter

I’m thankful for the years I had to spend with her, and the many lessons that she helped me to learn in life. I miss her, and will always pray for her.

The Rev. Kenneth Allen