At some point in life, the crisis of death and its accompanying loss will come to everyone. Along with the sorrow that loss through death brings, can also come an acute sense of desolation and loneliness, especially if the death is of a close loved one, such as husband or wife.
There is perhaps no other experience in life that has the potential to so drastically change one's life, than to have removed from one's side a loving companion of many years. In the early days after such an experience, the sense of loss and grief is so pervasive that a person cannot believe that happiness can ever come again.
The realization that the small things that made life full and pleasant in human companionship are now gone can become an almost unbearable emotional weight. However, the one who remains while a dearly loved companion has left the scene of time will find that life must still be lived. The daily routines of getting up in the morning, getting dressed, eating breakfast must still be done. But the reality that these experiences can no longer be shared or enjoyed with the departed loved one, again brings a feeling of loneliness that sweeps over the soul.
Even at a time like this, we can find a sense of comfort and rest in turning to God, our loving Father, of whom the Scriptures say is "the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation." Each person who knows by experience the sorrow and loneliness that comes as a result of death, may take comfort in the refreshing provision of the grace of God.
Of our Lord Jesus, the Scriptures tell us that He came to this world as Saviour of mankind. As part of His saving ministry Jesus will "bind up the brokenhearted . . . comfort all that mourn . . . appoint (extend compassion) unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." We must never underestimate the grace of God in these difficult circumstances.
A person who has no hope in God often considers death to be a terrible tragedy. And those without the living hope in eternal life have nothing to ease their sorrow and loneliness.
But for the Christian, there is a hope, even in death, which transcends the darkness of the grave, and brings into focus a light that has its source in Heaven itself. This is the hope of life beyond the grave - a spiritual life that death cannot destroy. Yes, physical death is real. It severs earthly ties, and loneliness is becomes an unavoidable result of such bonds that are broken in death.
But loneliness does not need to be an overpowering emotion that destroys your life. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, whether recently or longer ago, and sorrow and loneliness is your present experience, we encourage you to take heart.
Turn your eyes to the Lord God of heaven who is fully able to give comfort in sorrow, friendship in loneliness, and a purpose in living, serving Him.
- Mervin Brubacher,