The hardest part of life is grief involved in loss. Suddenly life is irrevocably changed and there’s nothing we can do about it. We would do anything to have life back the way it was. How can it be that such a comparatively small component of life that is lost can totally overwhelm us? We’ve lost one person and we have many other loved ones, perhaps, but this one loss consumes us.
Grief is illogical until we realise how final loss is. We have loved and lost. What is lost may never be returned to us. It’s final. The only option is to adjust to the new reality; to accept what, for a time, is totally unacceptable.
It may seem a cruel irony but we are well advised to wallow unapologetically in our grief. If it’s necessary that all our emotions be attended to, and it is, we are best advised to let the avalanche of anguish make its full roll over us. We will feel smothered in sorrow; contorted in anger; driven to bargain; confused, upset, and given to divert our attention onto less healthy pursuits.
What is most important is attending to the truth. It hurts. It’s agony. It’s crucial, therefore, to have our times alone and our times with others where we sob uncontrollably.
To lose ourselves to our emotions for hours or days is no sin; on the contrary, it’s liberating for our souls to be true to themselves.
If we wish to partake in our healing, to allow God’s Spirit to do what only the Lord in us can do, because we have surrendered our pride, we need to be courageous enough to let go.
We find that safe place at home on a Friday or Saturday night. We take a bath. We curl up in front of the fire. We lay in bed. We spend time with a friend – one who’ll really listen if we wish to talk. Whatever we choose to do we give ourselves to the process of feeling all the pain we can, enrolling the fullest surrender and release into the adhering to our anguish.
Critically, we take God in there with us. As we sob and bawl we pray. We communicate with God in whatever way feels comfortable, knowing no mood or words are offensive to the Lord who knows our pain.
Scared of expressing the fullness of our grief, we limit the work of God’s grace to heal us. Better to wallow unapologetically, fully, with courage, honouring the truth of our loss.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.