The idea that somehow, someday we will “move on,” that there is “no pain, no gain” and “what doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger” are highly misused. The implications of those comments are not fully understood by those have never lost someone they love. That being said, the pains of grief, do grow us. Certainly it takes great strength outside ourselves and yes, there is moving forward, but with much pain. There is no “moving on,” because to move on, would require forgetting and not acknowledging we loved deeply. A love as deep as the vows of marriage carry us and can never be broken by forgetting.
Grieving pains, take many forms. And though I am not too far into this journey, I have experienced several, certainly not exhausting all the very real steps this journey still has in store for me, I am sure. The reason I write here today is to share deeper the places I walk, not for sympathy, but to give others hope that they are not crazy in what they may be walking through and so that others might know what is inside a grieving heart and soul.
Before I go on sharing a very deep place in this journey, I need you to understand God’s hand is in my life. I know, who holds my hand and I believe I am under His watchful eye. He will sustain me through each step. Having God at the very core of my journey, doesn’t suddenly take away my grieving pains or erase the circumstances. It does, however, insure hope, peace and goodness are real in this fragile, broken world we temporarily live in.
Grieving pains look different for each grieving heart. I will never claim I know “just how you feel.” I pray my experiences might encourage and help you know you are not alone. God’s hand in mine, may I be faithful to His calling and be a light, though this vessel in merely made of clay.
The tremendous pain that stretches the skin I live in today, is hard to describe fully. I have experienced days when I couldn’t get out if bed. Days when the thoughts were darker than midnight and thicker then wildfire’s smoke. This darkness causes depression and anxiety, and as much as I love the Lord, all I could do was cry out for mercy. Groanings with no words, translated by the Holy Spirit and the Saviour of my heart. Grieving pains, look like slashes of guilt. Guilt in parenting and feeling that I am not doing everything , as I used to, for them. Guilt in the way I am running my home, as it is definitely not the same around here as when my beloved one was here. There is guilt in the way I view and conduct my relationships, as lack of energy and deep sorrow make almost everything I do as hard as slogging through knee-high mud. I see the stretch marks where the effort to maintain some kind of new normal, was more than I could take. Grief pains look like gaping wounds, oozing sores and invisible marks only God knows about.
But, grieving pains also have beauty, bring growth, attract opportunities to share and cause an introvert to step out and find meaning beyond what is comfortable. And to share tears though everything inside wants to remain stoic and emotionless. Beauty for ashes, yes, I have seen it. I have met more people on a journey similar to mine. New sisters. I have seen the depth of love in people that overwhelms and encourages me. This new beauty, inspires me and urges me to share with others. The ashes are still smoldering and cover me in a thick blanket, but I have hope in this beauty that lies underneath. Aw…. growth. I never thought I would be able to say I was growing. I thought my heart was dead, and that I’d just go on existing, but never truly living. To be honest, there are still days like that. But, by taking the step directly in front of me, I can look back over the past nine and a half months and see I have taken steps forward. By God’s grace, I have grown in His love. There are areas I have been able to take steps that I never thought possible. God’s goodness is evident and if I can just look back now and then, I see growth.
Grieving pains…. oh how I miss my beloved one. It is excruciatingly painful, but God walks through that with me too. Without this intense pain, I would not know the strength and power and intense love of a Saviour, in a way that is both real and so very good. In the end, I am thankful for where the grieving pains have changed me, no, I am still not ok with the circumstances, but I am hopeful in spite of them that “I will see His goodness in the land of the living.”