You can’t cry your eyes out.
Believe me I tried, but despite the tears I’ve shed my eyeballs are secure in their sockets. The current of the river of grief is powerful enough to sweep me off my feet and drag me along the bottom until my lungs scream for air. Without a lifeline, I’ll surely drown. Surviving the stages of grief is a journey, sliding back and forth and never fully reaching a destination. Trusting that the One who bore our sorrows allows healing to begin. Grief cannot be denied, but it can be survived.
Surviving the stages of #grief is a journey, sliding back and forth and never fully reaching a… Click To Tweet
Grief is the price we pay for the ability to love
My friend myasthenia gravis personally introduced me to the stages of grief three years ago. Now I am front and center on the stages again, but that was kindergarten grief and this is grad school. Grief doesn’t always demand a casket either.
Trying to mourn loss when death is not involved is a lonely hell.” ~ H. Norman Wright
Denial’s power is deceptive. The water looks placid and I’m convinced I can swim across until the undercurrent tugs and threatens to pull me under. I try pretending it’s a float trip, but reality peeks around every corner. For a few seconds every morning, I forget. I wake up and think, “This is not my life.” But it is and denying it doesn’t change anything.
James 4:14, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?” NLT
Once I faced the sadness and pain I was mad, boy was I mad. Mad enough to yell and throw things. Don’t worry, the wall was my only target and a house shoe my only weapon. Honestly, anger is the easiest emotion to deal with, but throwing your house shoe only gets you a bare, cold foot and a bare, cold soul to go with it.
Ephesians 4:26, “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be be angry – but don’t use your anger as a fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry.” MSG
If only. Strategizing and manipulating like clawing for a limb to stop the downstream rush, every branch breaking off in my hands. Rehearsing the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve exhausts me like trying to swim upstream. Once the river flows by, it is never the same. Not ever.God has the power to deliver us from what we think life should be #TrustTheLord Click To Tweet
Depression isn’t palatable to anyone but it’s particularly foreign to me. It’s the swiftest part of the river; the stage just before climbing out on the other side. But when I stick my toe into the water, fear makes me want to pull it out. And if I look back instead of where I’m going I’ll step off a cliff. I fight the current, try to conquer the river and control it when the key to surviving it is to admit it hurts and I am powerless over it.
Where is my lifeline?
Psalm 39:7, “Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.” HCSB
God is my lifeline but rescues are tedious. Nearly across the river of grief, it’s power sweeps me away again. Retreating, I pull out and return to denial. As if it’s safe there. My anger resurfaces and a picture frame shatters. More manipulation of the situation then more surrender. Again. Slowly, I’m moving toward acceptance. Acceptance that I must cross this river I don’t want to cross.
Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” ESV
Then why do I feel so overwhelmed?
Out of control
Some of the wisest words I lean on are: “There is nothing you can do about it.” My only choice is to go with the flow. This current is a riptide I cannot fight, but there is One who fights for me. He holds me and assures me that He is in control. He allows out-of-control and overwhelmed and class IV rapids so that I totally depend on Him because He is totally dependable.When you are tired of trying to hold the world together, let go and trust the One who created… Click To Tweet
Surviving the stages of grief
There is life on the other side. Not the would’ve could’ve should if only life, but new life. Crossing the river of grief isn’t for the weak or fearful, but the alternative is to run back to and be rushed downstream. I’m not securely there but I know the healing power of surrender. Surviving grief means feeling it’s weight and strength and keeping my eyes on the anchor that holds in the storm.
Grief cannot be denied, but it can be survived.