Loss of someone takes place two different ways:
- Loss of a loved one by rejection, and
- Loss of someone by death.
In either of these situations, being enclosed and not being able to do anything to effect some type of relief can bring about untold problems, more specifically death. This is the area in which we’ll address for those who suffer a loss.
When I was locked up in a city jail for unpaid traffic violations, I learned my grandmother passed. I need to admit, I stopped going to funerals when her husband, my grandfather, died 18 years earlier. Prior to her, my grandmother’s death, I’d lost a half-brother, two aunts and did not attend their funerals. My reason for this decision, I have difficulty with funerals, not so much the dead but those who are living. For me, it’s best I remember my loved ones as they were then to see them lying still in a coffin, and the sorrow of seeing others grieving I’m just not able to handle.
One of the deputies handed me the phone and my brother shared with me the passing of, “Nana” and offered to pay my fine, I believe about $30, and I declined his offer! Later, I was taken before the mayor of the small city, who sentenced me who having heard the news offered me an opportunity to leave and I refused his offer, too! I said, “This is where I am and especially now this is where I need to stay.” I grieved her loss right there in the quietness of my cell.
Being in a real prison I have witnessed other men who have lost a loved one and not permitted to to attend the funeral and always felt a responsibility to share with them, “The hope” presented in Scripture of seeing them again, but it’s our, “Wake up” call to begin living our lives differently so we will have the privilege of being rejoined with those who have left us.
I will not get philosophical about death being a part of life, but I want to stress when someone we love, whether it be mother, father or a child, we should not blame ourselves nor is it our fault we were not there for them. Had we been out, their death would have come as a shock either way, but it is what we do with the realization of the death. The fact it is not our own should give us pause to reflect what that person meant to us and what we intend to do.
Being in prison and trying to maintain hardness and not show signs of weakness is just what you should do to overcome the pain we are feeling. It’s been said, “In prison no one knows the many tears which are shed once the lights go out.” There’s no shame to showing your pain, which is really relief, in tears despite wherever you are. It takes a very brave man to allow what is natural to take place. Let those tears fall to demonstrate to others as well as yourself, you are human. You do have feelings. Allow the human contact in the form of a brother or sister inmate who has good sense to provide the comfort you need at this time. Do not regret being imprisoned for this may be God’s way of bring you through this difficult time in the best way. Never doubt God’s reasoning for allowing the death to occur while you are here.
This bid alone, I’ve lost three people I’ve known, and they occurred within the first six months, two of which were family. As long as I continue living I am certain more news will be a part of my experience, but each incident causes me to think about who I am and how I am living. Let’s get it right so when the news is given to our loved that we have passed on, they will rejoice we changed our lives for the better and, “Their hope” can be realized they will see us again, too, to spend eternity where there will never again be a loss.