Saturday, January 22, 2011

When Does It End?

I think a lot of folks out there wonder how we are and when we will "be over" our grief.  I don't say this thinking that people are rushing us or thinking:  will they ever stop talking about Ethan and move on?  But I think there are people out there that haven't gone through such a significant loss, or perhaps have never known anyone close that has died, which makes it hard to understand our pain.  We will NEVER be over losing Ethan--ever--until we are united in heaven (and I pray that God chooses for us to go to heaven).  We will always miss Ethan, we will always talk about him and wonder what he could have grown up to be, and we will always love him.  However, with a great quantity of time and the grace of God, we will heal as best as we can,  and perhaps not hurt as badly.  But I really don't think that one could ever, ever get over losing a child (or a dear loved one).

I want to let you all know from my perspective this:  THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT, "RHYME OR REASON," *RIGHT/WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT GRIEVING, ETC.  I emphazise this, because over and over again we are told that you will be shocked, numb, mad/angry, sad, depressed, etc.  While these emotions occur, they do not occur in any particular order, nor do they occur in a clean and clear cut fashion.  These emotions come out of nowhere and can last for minutes, hours, days weeks, etc.  And the same emotion can re-visit you over and over again.  One day you are feeling pretty good and think, wow...I can get past this.  It won't be so bad.  And then...BAM, the emotions tear you apart once again.  This has been my personal experience in the past seven months of grieving.  Then there will be longer periods of time where you are "okay" and then periods of time where you're not okay.  I call these rests from grief a gift from God.  He's allowing us to simply rest from the intense emotional toll that grief takes on one's body and mind. 

While we are all "okay" at the moment, I cannot answer for you when the grief ends.  I really don't think it does end, you just learn to live with it and find meaning in your new "normal" life.  I've also realized that if we find the good in the loss (and believe me, it's hard sometimes), we can be a blessing to others in their time of need or tragedy.  We can choose to feel defeated and punished by God, or we can say:  Okay Lord, I don't always agree with you taking my son (or whomever your loved one is), but I pray You will give me wisdom and help me to process through this.  I pray you will keep the enemy at bay and give us favor.  I pray that I can be a blessing to others because of this tragedy. 

We can believe God's truth and promises, or we can be deceived by the enemy's lies...and the enemy wants to tear the bereaved apart, but when we stand firm on the firm foundation of God's Word, he carries us and gives us rest.

I want to emphasize also that you cannot skip grief.  It's not an option.  One MUST walk through it to process and not go through the rest of life with a chip on their shoulder, or unresolved anger.  I'm not writing this to be mean, ugly or cruel.   I just want you you to know that it's okay to grieve.  God gave us those tears, and they certainly are therapeutic!   It's certainly okay, male or female, to cry and to talk about the loss. 

I'm going to put this out there:  if you are grieving,  and need someone to talk to, I am here for you.  Also look to your church, or a local church that you trust. Most pastors are well trained to handle grief, and who better to speak with than a man who is trained in God's Word.  Another great resource is:  A fantastic non-profit organization that has been a blessing in my grief journey!

*Just a note on there's not a wrong way to grieve...if you find yourself suicidal, leaning on drugs or alcohol, etc. to get through the grief and pain, then you need to get professional help ASAP!  Please, please seek help.


Kirsten said...

I think you are so right! If we could just skip grief, I think we would miss the opportunity to learn more about our Savior, and about ourselves.

ady said...

Great post. I agree that you never "get over it"; my baby boy passed away 13 years ago, and still the other day I saw a scene while watching a movie that brought me right back to that day. And I couldn't help but break down a little bit. "Harry Potter", of all movies. You just never know when it'll all flood right back...

(Oh, so to make your blog private you go under "settings", then "permissions", then under 'who can read this blog' you mark 'only people I choose', and that's where you can enter email addresses so blogger will send the invite :) )