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Time is cruel and gracious. On the one hand, part of us expects life to pause and give us the time we need to process the hurt, tragedies, and griefs that come our way. But time marches on all the same, whether we are ready or not. And this is also its grace in that it helps us from getting stuck or otherwise neglecting our responsibilities. 

To be sure, after a loved one dies we need time to grieve. And we’re not being kind to ourselves when we feel we must forge ahead as if we’re unaffected. At the same time, our grief doesn’t suspend our other obligations. Our family still needs to eat, our homes still need to be cared for, and there are still other relationships to nurture. While grace might be given to us for a season, at some point we must continue the work given to us. And we have to live in both of these realities at the same time – grieving while still upholding the rest of our responsibilities in life. 

And this is true whatever the heartache or pain we experience. Whether it’s a toothache or broken leg, hurt feelings or a broken heart. Of course, we care for our immediate needs without pretending they don’t matter. All the same, our hurt is never used as an excuse to neglect our other responsibilities. While we care for our pain, life still goes on. 

As much as we might want time to stop to deal with one thing at a time, life doesn’t work this way. And we invite even more harm when we don’t learn to tolerate this tension. 

In the end, take the time needed to grieve and care for the many wounds of this life. And remember, life goes on. Hardships are not an excuse to neglect the rest of your duties and responsibilities. 

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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