My original journey in the 12 verses of II Samuel began with mulling over David's grief response to loosing his son. A cursory reading of the verses would have you believing, after learning of the child's death, David bathed, dressed, ate and resumed his life. In this case, it is not what the scriptures say, but what is not addressed which continued to bubble to the surface while digging for meaning. The story between the lines is the place I kept returning. What is God teaching us with this story?
Beginning by thinking of my own personal grief journeys and those of dear friends and family who have shared with me their experience of grief, I knew there is more to the story than a tragic loss quickly forgotten. David's actions are perhaps a reflection of God's desire for us to always live life to the fullest--even in the midst of intense grief. The gift of life is not meant to be squandered and while grief is a normal response to great loss, we are not to become so mired down in our loss that we allow life to pass us by. I took great solace in David going to his wife to comfort her in their shared loss. The Word tells us they then had another child. Life went on, and though their loss was forever etched on their hearts, they continued to live life to the fullest. The new baby would never take the place of the one lost, but this does not minimize the love they felt for this new baby.
We all can learn from my sweet neighbor and this story of David. Grief is normal--grief is a God given emotion--but our grief should not consume us and keep us from living the gift of life to the fullest. We should pray for the courage to live in today. Though the clouds are filling the sky today, the sun will come out again tomorrow. The tears of today should never deter the joy and laughter still to come.
But now that he is dead, why should I fast?
Can I bring him back again?
I will go to him, but he will not return to me.
II Samuel 12:23