Saturday, January 14, 2017

How Grief Can Be an Indispensable Life Experience

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
— Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910)
It is difficult, in the throes of acute loss, to reconcile how life that’s suddenly gone so bad could possibly end up so good again, but that is our hope. We may simply want things back as they were. For the pain to abate.
The experience of grief, which is a suffering we never imagined possible, makes us regret that we took for granted the ‘normal’ life. Our craving is to be back there.
In grief, we figure that we should hope for a return to a life of normalcy. Some days we cannot see our way there — it feels like the end of the road. Other days there are glimpses of healing and hope for not simply recovery but restoration. But, for an inordinate time, the doppelganger of anxiety and depression hangs like billows over us.
But afterwards, having traversed the murky elements, having lost vision of hope so many times, after we’ve felt recovered many times when we weren’t, we reach the conclusion that what broke our heart, love, was the key to the restoration of our heart. When we come to grief’s conclusion we understand more about ourselves, life, and God.
When grief casts us, outbound of loss,
Into a life consumed by chaotic dross,
We find God’s help becomes present from above,
Shown in us through faith so we’re returned to His love.
Grief forces us to confront truth, and, having been set free by what broke us, we become bigger, not smaller, persons.
Grief forces us to choose between faith and a combination of denial, anger, and bargaining.
Then we learn an indispensable lesson:
When faith is chosen in adversity, resilience becomes the path back to wellbeing.
In the final analysis, love’s heart that was once broken by loss is restored to love again by the heart compelled to love.

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