As we consider the grief process in terms of the journey through brokenness to wholeness we must consider the transition through states of being.
In each state of being we have trials to overcome – besides the actual trial of the grief we bear for the loss(es) we have experienced.
We are on a journey from the damage of brokenness to being healed in an essential and, ultimately, lasting wholeness.
None of these states of being can be avoided, and they do tend to be linear in progression, though we do also experience ‘four seasons in a day’ at times. Let us go through these states:
1. The State of Commencing/Numbness
Initially, at the moment of loss, we arrive at a state of commencing; a state of numbness. At this state we must overcome our denial, but we shouldn’t overcome our denial at the expense of being snapped out of it.
Through every stage of the grief process there needs to be compassion enough to allow the states to be experienced fully before we move on to the next one. God is ever patient and we ought to be too.
2. The State of Journeying In Brokenness
Having overcome the state of commencing – the state of numbness – we come into a longer period of journeying in a state of brokenness.
What we must overcome through this state is the encroaching sense of pride, resentment, and anger that rise up – often toward God, or others – and arrive at an acceptance that journeying through this state of brokenness is our present challenge. It feels like a great injustice.
This state of being requires great faith, for at this state we are pre-hope. Hope of arriving at ‘a new thing’ – a recovered form of ourselves – is still vacant.
3. The State of Hopeful Progress
Eventually we arrive at a state of hopeful progress. There are more good days than bad days in this state, but we often grow impatient that we are not fully over it yet. We seem to have some really woeful days intermingled with days that are normal and even hopeful. We are making progress, but our feelings are still not fully under our control. We have a foretaste of wholeness, but we still have our training wheels on.
4. The State of Experienced Wholeness
The final state of this journey through brokenness to wholeness is the state of experienced wholeness. At this stage we have reached recovery, but there is one final threat to overcome: lethargy. If we grow complacent at this stage we will have learned little for the next experience of loss and grief we must deal with.
Recovery through grief, having been recovered from it once, done properly, without steps skipped, is the most important life skill we can ever learn.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.