Tag Archive | grieving

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”


The End of Summer

We’re almost at the end of summer.. a melancholy time for me. Growing up in Los Angeles.. I got as much summer as I wanted. The weather was almost always warm..even in the winter. My best memories were of being with my family for an extended vacation at the beach. The beaches were warm.. not like the ones up here in Northern California. I miss those times.

They represent a time before my family moved and everything seemed to fall apart. Looking back I can see how that season of loss is still profoundly connected to my life now. As much as I would like to put the past behind me.. I can’t fully do that. Our seasons of grief become part of us..we are changed by them and we incorporate them into the way we live our lives. It is interesting how we try to ” get through things” in our culture..so we can move on.

The truth is we aren’t able to do that. Life is full of loss. We either  learn to live with it..and allow it to change us for the better or it destroys us. Repressed grief leads to depression and despair. Grief that is allowed to be expressed and examined is going to take us into a new season. We will grow..becoming more caring and compassionate.

So.. here we are at the end of summer.. more loss..a new opportunity to move on and embrace the fall season. We are capable of much more than we think we are.. God has created us with the ability to change and grow. As the new season approaches, let’s ask Him to bless us with rich experiences..deep experiences..as we embrace life fully and let go of summer.

“For everything there is a season,
      a time for every activity under heaven.
  A time to be born and a time to die.
      A time to plant and a time to harvest.
  A time to kill and a time to heal.
      A time to tear down and a time to build up.
  A time to cry and a time to laugh.
      A time to grieve and a time to dance. “