Finality is the sense of doom a person experiences in the moment they feel they’ve got nothing left. Though it can be an enormous catalyst on the journey of true recovery, such a burgeoning reality of dread leaves us devoid of response, and we feel worse than death.
Even though it’s acknowledged there’s depression in grief, I’ve often wondered how much grief is in depression. Or, how much our depression is grief—which is a normal process of adjusting to life that’s gone south so rapidly we’re caught in a sinkhole.
How much do our losses propel us toward depression?
And how many of our depressions are situational—take us out of the reality that grinds us into an emotional paste, and we’re left with a real positive sense for recovery.
Depression’s source is very often in the exhaustion of true grief—when all hope was long ago vanquished because we were too exhausted to care or fight for our mental health.
Depression often feels like a giving up.
A sense of resignation and a recognition
of, “how on earth did I get here?”
Those tell-tale signs of depression are so distinct: little motivation where doing even simple things seems impossible; chronic sadness or emptiness or dark night of soul; the unravelling of self-image where perhaps once a solid figure stood.
But it’s the ups and downs that characterise the grief process and help us to understand that our depression is sourced in the exhaustion of true grief—and there’s that threat that beckons where we consider how bad or worse this could get.
Having identified where our depression is sourced more truly in grief—and perhaps not so much in classical depressive disorder—finding our way through seems possible... at some point. We have cause for hope and belief in recovery and healing.
We need to reconcile that if our situation needs to change to give us more hope, well then, our situation needs to change to give us more hope.
So, there’s a resolve we make to patiently bear the grief-laden season, even as we picture how the situation might change, and even as we imagine WHAT the experience may be teaching us.
Without dwelling on it, we hope, and allow ourselves to dream a little—without it causing us the torment of a hope delayed, because that just makes our hearts sick (Proverbs 13:12).
When we see the ups and downs in the process of our depression, we may find we can see the depression in our grief. This is because the ups of acceptance are glimmers of recovery.
It may truly be circumstantial, and therefore it’s the stages of grief we’re dealing with.
This helps us believe that better times will return; to where they were before maybe, or to something even better.
I hope you can see the real hope in identifying the depression is in grief, and that grief is perfectly comprehensible and therefore understandable as a response when we’re depressed.
In all these experiences of brokenness, we also have the opportunity to recognise where we’re also being resurrected to a new hope. If only we can see the faithfulness of God to get us through our most depressed moments, to give us back insight of our joy, then we’re grateful, even if for a moment.
It’s not a weakness to struggle
to bear the cruel realities of loss.
It requires massive strength
to bear grief that makes us weak.
It requires massive strength, that in our weakness we can only see the weakness. But it takes massive strength to just keep going when we’re assailed every which way, and it’s that massive strength once it’s seen that’s a game changer.