The Unfortunate Fellowship

One of the separators between childhood and maturity is the ability to discern the true gravity of any given situation. The seemingly unbearable anguish of teenage love gone awry fades and folds in the presence of a marriage gone wrong. The grief of a pet passing diminishes when one must say goodbye to a parent, sibling, or other loved one. It is not a case of the former possessing no meaning, but rather how life’s hammer blows places them in proper context.


Those who belong to the unfortunate fellowship of having buried a large piece of their heart alongside an immeasurable part of their life face two paths going forward. They can be forever bitter and burning with envy at those not similarly marked. Or, they can open their hearts with the understanding gained solely by painful experience to others who have unwillingly joined their ranks. The unfortunate fellowship knows, understands, and shares the grief of those freshly bereaved.

There is invariably an element of wondering why life on this earth must be so fragile and brief. Regardless of how fervently and firmly one believes in immortality and the promised reunion, even with the promise that He will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, today there is death and mourning and crying and pain. We see it in the innocent victims of war. We see it in our own lives when we reflect on those no longer here.

The wise store treasure in heaven by freely giving love’s treasure on earth. This is the delineation between the hopeful and hysterical. The latter forever cry outrage as they endlessly preach love, yet practice only hate. If one chooses perpetual grievance over trifles, what will he or she do when genuine grief comes to call?


Some pursue wallowing in a mixture of self-pity and self-promotion they call grief, but it is not. Few of us have not endured one or more people who insist on being the bride or groom at every wedding and the widow or widower at every funeral. This is not the unfortunate fellowship’s way. It’s just unfortunate. A person in a genuine hour of need has no need for someone seeking to fill that hour by adjusting the spotlight focused on himself or herself.

The unfortunate fellowship listens far more than it speaks. There is grace in silence; comfort in unspoken sharing. An understanding presence does far more good than all the platitudes and attempts to comfort with forced cheer the world has to offer. This is Scriptural, not always quoting Scripture but rather living it by actively being there when people need one another. As the song says, before He danced, Jesus wept.

No one gets over grief. We get through it. Days pass, and we become more adept at maneuvering through this new reality. We still find ourselves reaching out to touch the other person, be it directly, on the phone, or online. Some days we can laugh. Other days we remember fondly. Still others find us needing very little to bring on the faraway stare. But we continue, taking comfort that this is, in fact, not the end. We need not live in morbid fear or perpetual panic. We have life’s precious gift, and we should savor and enjoy every moment. As the late great Andrew Breitbart embodied, we should be a happy warrior. Solomon reminded us in Proverbs that above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Remember this, and remember to let loss lead to love.




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