Saturday, December 7, 2013

Respecting the Recurrent Nature of Grief


Out of the blue,
Comes a harrowing loss,
And what couldn’t have been predicted,
Now becomes boss!
Some days are a struggle,
To fight our way out,
Repeating and recurring,
These experiences of doubt.
But the test isn’t about fighting though,
It’s just about getting through this spell,
So the opportunity we have today,
Is simply to discover how to struggle well!
Think about the present hour,
And forget about the coming days,
When life’s reduced to an hour at a time,
We can struggle well through the maze.
***
GRIEF events always occur by force. We never ask for these experiences and we never want them to endure for as long as they do. Of course, that only leaves the depth of what we experience – the encounter of loss involves us in a fuller range of emotions than we ever thought were available. This, too, is unwelcome, at least initially.
Now, given the fact that grief can break into our lives at any time – if we love we will ultimately grieve as we lose these loves – God must have made a way for us to grieve well. Indeed, it’s my belief that grief can take us through into a deeper sense of ourselves than we previously experienced. But this can only happen if we allow grief to soften us and not harden us.
Added to this core competency for life is this: once grief has started its journey with us, we may never truly be who we were again. We need to embrace the concept that we are transcending who we were. In fact, we need to grieve for that old identity in letting it go in order that we can embrace what is new.
Perhaps the hardest thing of grief is wrapped up inside the issue of that long cherished once-were identity. Grief-work will call us back continually, then occasionally, to it.
The Recurrent Nature of Grief-Work
When we lose someone, or something very significant, we are so profoundly impacted it will take the rest of our lives to honour their/that memory.
Grief-work is that thing we will do recurrently, but the beautiful thing is what grief looks like years on. It becomes a requiem for the ages – our bellowing and untouchable sadness morphs into something that is shown to blossom our very lives.
God adds to our depth for the depths we have experienced with him.
So, even though there is a recurrent nature to grief – that it rears its ugly head every now and then – there is great character reward the further we traverse the journey.
***
The recurrent nature of grief is so true it commands our respect. If we are to let the pain of grief become a rich memorial of the Lord’s healing, with time, we will need to be patient and gentle with ourselves. Grief repeats and recurs, until the pain is all done. The more we have loved the more pain we may feel.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.





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