Grief is like a gigantic suitcase filled with weights.
You cannot leave this suitcase behind, you cannot walk away from it. It is with you for the rest of your life, it is your baggage. You must take it everywhere you go.This suitcase is extremely big and heavy. This suitcase is the biggest of the bunch, by far. When you are first given the suitcase, you cannot move it. You pull and pull on it and it never budges. Your body becomes weak, sore and exhausted. You push and pull on it every single day and try to move with it, but you cannot. Eventually after weeks, maybe months, you start to become a little stronger from all the pushing and pulling and you can budge it forward just a tiny bit. Eventually, after time, you can start to drag it around with you. It still hurts and you strain to bring it along with you. More time progresses, and you can carry it on your back, but you move so very slowly and your legs strain under the weight of this suitcase. After more time passes, probably years later, you are able to carry it with you, wherever you go. You move at a similar speed as you did before you were given this suitcase. However, you cannot move the same way as you did before. That is now impossible since you are strapped with this suitcase. As you carry this suitcase, you do not always move with the greatest of ease, but you lift it instead of drag it. Some days it hurts to carry it and other days you barely notice the weight of it, but it is always with you. It has become part of your life. You always know it is there. You learn to live with it. You learn how to carry it along with everything else you carry. It is by far the biggest and the heaviest suitcase you have.
The suitcase never gets smaller, it never gets lighter, you just become strong enough to carry it.
That is what this intense grief is like for me. Right now, I would say, I am at the barely dragging stage. At first, I could not even budge it. There was no way for me to even function in the world. I couldn't take it with me anywhere because it was just too heavy. Today, I can drag it, inch by inch. It is still almost too much for me to bear. Carrying this grief with me strains every single muscle in me. It hurts everywhere and it wears me out. The weight of the suitcase has injured me. Maybe beyond repair. But one day, I will learn to live with that pain. Just like I will learn to live with this grief. In the future, I will be strong enough to carry this around with me, most days with ease.
Today is not that day.
However, I will become stronger than I would have become without this suitcase.
I believe that the Lord is well acquainted with grief and sorrow. Jesus was described as a "man of sorrows" or a "man of suffering" in Isaiah 53. He truly knows what it is like to carry an immeasurable weight around with you. His weight was much bigger than mine, Jesus carried the heaviest and biggest suitcase there is in existence. I find comfort in knowing that He knows this deep and bitter anguish. He can identify with me; having this broken heart. He understands that right now, my suitcase is too heavy for me to carry it alone. But I know that He is strong enough, and so He gives me the strength. He gives me the endurance to carry this suitcase of grief. The beautiful thing is that I do not only feel grief; I feel immense and deep love towards Gideon, and hope because I will see him again and peace that the Lord gives. Those things never make this suitcase smaller, but they make me stronger. The Father makes me stronger every day. His strength sustains me.
Ten weeks I have had this suitcase and it will be with me the rest of my life. I cannot wait until we get to eternity and every single suitcase we carry with us disappears forever.
"It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure" 2 Samuel 22:33