Monday, August 22, 2011

Midnight Musings On Grief

It's been a great summer--one filled with family, friends, lots of relaxation, kid time, couple time, and just plain fun.

But it's also been a hard summer--one filled with something I don't usually allow myself--ME time.  Me time is something I avoid because "me time" means quiet time, and too often, quiet time means being pulled back towards that deep dark crevasse of hell I stared into right after my son died--grief.  The unending depth of it terrorized me.  It was a mind-chilling, heart wrenching, black hole of death.  I tucked my tail, grabbed the hand of God, and ran away like a wild woman. 

As I've said so often, I run from grief.  I know that about myself.  And I used to think it was a bad thing--that I wasn't grieving "right."  But one of my best friends gently suggested to me that perhaps it was the only way I could preserve myself--to only take in the smallest bit of grief I could handle at one time--and to run from the rest.  To do it any other way would have killed me. 

She's right.

But as the years passed I realized that I needed to go back and face more of that black hole.  I was getting tired of running.  And I worried that all that running was keeping me from experiencing the fullness of emotion I once embodied.  I needed to see if in fact that black crevasse was still as depthless as I thought.

It was.  And yet, it wasn't. 

It's a lie that time heals all pain.  Time gives us a chance to figure out how to bury pain.  And how to live with pain. 

Faith gives us a chance to heal--even though there will always be a raging scar and one that can be torn back open, sometimes at the most unexpected times. 

One book I found helpful was, Choosing to See, by Mary Beth Chapman (wife of Steven Curtis Chapman), who tragically lost her five-year-old daughter in an accident.  The end of her book especially resonated with me when she discusses how there is no "right" way to grieve.  I particularly found a parallel to the grief our adopted children experience:

"I've now read so many books on grief that I should have a degree, but you know what?  There isn't any one way to do it  My story isn't yours and your story isn't mind.  I've come to the conclusion that the only thing people who are suffering and grieving have in common, at least if you believe as I do as a Christian, is the One who suffered for us.  And the Father, who grieved for Him going to the cross, understands."

Though our grief experiences are all very different, I've come to the same conclusion as Mary Beth, when she is crying out to God asking why?  How? 

Why? "Because I am God . . . keep walking and keep trusting . . . love well the ones still in your charge and care . . . realize that time is short, life is hard, but I've given you so much, do not squander it!"

How?  "By remembering that I am God and your trust has to rely completely on Me . . . not striving of your own will to fix, heal, cure, help, calm any of what you see as mess.  I allow what I allow for reasons you can't even comprehend . . . rest.  You won't figure this out, but He who holds Maria holds you."

For now, I can stop running, resting in the truth that I will never understand the circumstances surrounding the loss of Joe this side of heaven.  God knows, and I am trusting in Him. 

But I also know that if I need to, I can once again grab the hand of God and run away like a wild woman. 

And that's okay too. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration! I only wish to ease your pain, not possible I know but thank you for sharing