Living through grief..

The last two months have been incredibly difficult. Today I found myself reading up on grief again. I have a library of grief books..a collection I began 12 years ago when I was widowed and yet I am so immersed in grief that I fail to realize what is happening. That’s how it works..it is so intense..you feel as though you are going crazy.

My emotions are up and down. There are days when  I feel like I am normal and the next day I am crying, sleepless, and depressed. The sadness is overwhelming and the loneliness is unbearable. Grieving takes enormous energy..not the time to have insomnia..but that is my body’s response. Some people seem to sleep through their grief..but probably not most of us. Grief is emotional and physical..it is draining and unbearable at times.

So why doesn’t God do away with it? I don’t have the answer..but I know the grief process is part of life..that He allows it and encourages us to embrace it. For me..grief causes me to cling as tightly to Him as I can.. there is really nowhere else to go. How do you explain to family or friends a condition that you barely understand?

Right now I am grieving the loss of my family of origin.. my Dad (who died), my Mom who is 90  and could go at anytime..as well facing a lifetime of estrangement from my only sibling. It is incredibly difficult to let go of all the people who knew you as a child.. All of but one of my older relatives are gone and I am not very close to their remaining children. My past is passing away..

Part of me is dying with it. It is an opportunity for God to do something new in me and I am praying that I can grieve fully and deeply.. enabling Him to bring good fruit from this season of my life. If you are grieving, don’t hide it. We live in a culture where grief is rarely acknowledged..most people outlive their parents, but few books are written on this topic. I find that very strange. We deny the seriousness of the grieving seasons.. yet life is full of these times. Loss is an inevitable part of life in this fallen world.

Many people experience deep depression because they have failed to grieve their losses..it takes a toll on us. We also experience grief when we anticipate a death.. watching someone fade away physically or mentally. This is a surprise to some people..I have been in this state for 5 years with my Mom..no closure..only waiting and wondering. My hospice counselor calls it a marathon..the long good-bye.

All we can do is face the truth and ask God for courage..He is with us and He came to heal our broken hearts. It helps to remember.. He was one of us.

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy”

 

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6 thoughts on “Living through grief..

  1. Alicia, your words are at the perfect time. While I am praying that God strengthen you during yoru grief, I also want to thank you for allowing Him to speak through you, touching and affirming my heart.
    I had not heard that we experience grief while we are waiting for a death, and yet that is exactly what happened this past week. We learned that our 7 1/2 year old incredibly nurturing cat had a very serious illness, and even with loving care did not know how long we would have… maybe a year, but no guarantees. Naturally the tears came, and aching heart…. Yule was ok for a couple of days, then started going downhill, so much so that the vet wanted to see him on Saturday rather than a week from then. Early that morning, God called to me to go on a walk. I balked at the hour ;), but He was insistent. Once I got out by the bay, I started crying…and crying…and crying. God alone knew what was needed; I had no idea. Less than 2 hours later, our precious furry friend and gift from God was needing us to say good bye… again, a surprise, and yet God had been preparing me, unbeknownst to me. Yes, the pain is there, but so is His healing touch… so I praise Him in the storm.
    Thank you for your words, for sharing your life with us all. May God surprise you with His love, and wrap His loving arms around you this hour.
    His peace,
    Suz

  2. Suz.. I am so glad my words helped you and I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet can feel like losing a person.. at least that is what I felt when Smokey died.. you remember that whole situation. I really grieved and was just remembering that earlier today when I made a list of all the losses I have experienced in the last 5 years.

    Yes.. praise Him in the storm.
    love you,
    Alicia

  3. I am sorry to hear of your suffering Alicia, and I don’t think I am going to offer any religious platitudes either because it’s just not me. I think grief is part of life (I hope that’s not a platitude!) as we are sentient beings, not robots. I suspect God could have created us not to love, not to question, not to feel deeply, not to be sensitive, but without these deeply-felt emotions how would we love? If we love deeply we can also be hurt deeply, it’s a part of the human condition. How could we be made in His image if we were unemotional and unthinking?

    Sometimes, I can be very strong and almost unmoved by something sad, and other times I am knocked off my feet by something; I don’t know why. I know this much; God is testing us through all the seasons of our lives, bringing us to spiritual maturity, bringing us closer to Him through what can seem hard or harsh or even pointless experiences. Look at Moses; years and years in the desert and… yet, He was God’s man! There are sometimes no answers to life’s ups and downs, but God will be there, waiting for us to respond and return to His love.

    May God bless you and keep you Alicia in your walk with Him.

  4. Thank you so much Tim..I am grateful for the encouragement. Grieving is work and yet like you said.. it is part of life. If you feel deeply than you grieve more deeply. I would not trade my sensitivity for a heart that is closed down. I always think of Abraham and his tests.. we live the same “life of faith” in a different time.
    Blessings,
    Alicia

  5. Incidentally, I bought a book called ‘When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty’ by two American writers called Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes. It’s a really good book and I got it on ‘Amazon.’ I read a lot of Christian literature when I have the time, especially books by an American author called Joyce Meyer. Just a thought anyway.

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