Saturday, October 8, 2016

Not How, But If~

His question absolutely floored me.

 "When a wave of grief hits you, do you surrender to the tears or do your suppress your feelings and wait to cry until -what you feel is - a more appropriate time?"

Surrendering to tears, I understand.
Suppressing your tears - until a more "appropriate time" - this is what blows me away.

People can actually do that?  

And yet, I know they can.
I have been around many who do.
It's not that I don't know that they can,
it's more the knowing how they can that leaves me completely at a loss.

But, loss will do that to you.

As I spoke to my grief counselor,

(Yes, for those of you trying to keep up with the story of my life, I had welcomed counseling it into my life before my place of employment decided to mandate that I receive it. For the record, I don't have a problem with counseling; I have a problem with ultimatums from those who make them without first stepping into someone's life and finding out exactly where they are and how they are doing.)

he had first asked me how I was getting through this time of grief and mourning in my life. When I explained I was writing about it, he smiled through the phone and asked how long I had been writing about it. When I told him I had started writing about it a week and a half after my husband died, I could hear another smile.

This, followed by the question about tears, had led him to this conclusion:

"Stacy, you are an intuitive griever.  The fact that you are raw, honest, and open with your feelings leads me to know you are well on the way to healing."

But, I wondered, what about those who aren't raw, honest, and open?
What about those who can conquer their tears and wait to cry at a more "appropriate time"?

I soon discovered this type of griever is the instrumental griever.  The way they deal with grief is by not dealing with grief.  They head right back into their normal routine and usually with more gusto than before.  It's their way of feeling in control of something they can't control.  Instead of expressing emotion, this type of griever does something in place of the emotion. It is the way they find healing.

Neither way of grieving is right or wrong,
but rather the way that is necessary for that person.

And it makes sense doesn't it,
that the intuitive griever would look at the instrumental griever
and find him or her to be cold and unfeeling,
just the way
the instrumental griever would look at the intuitive griever
and find him or her to be weak and "stuck" in grief?

And, in loss as well as in the very act of living,
we find again that we are all so very much the same, and yet so very different.

And, in loss as well as in the very act of living,
we understand anew why Jesus commands us not to judge.

We understand why He tells us not to look at another life through
our eyes,
our emotions,
our personality,
our take on things,
and pass judgment -
that will most always be
distorted and marred, at best.

It is not our place to take a life and measure it against ours;
it is our place to take our own life and measure it against the life of our Heavenly Father.

It is not our place to come along and side against someone;
it is our place to simply come alongside.

For healing, true healing,
isn't found in how many tears fall
or how quickly you can get back to normal,
it is found in the process of grieving,
and finding God in the midst of it all.

He is the true Healer.

And grief,
no matter how it might look,
no matter how the one suffering through it might be "labeled",
no matter how messy or neat it may be -
if embraced and welcomed into our life,
will always lead us closer to the heart of our God.

This is where beauty rises out of ashes.
This is where compassion for another is stirred from a place of deepest sorrow.
This is where I can help you and you can help me
no matter how different we may be.

This is where healing begins, where healing continues, where healing goes beyond.

It doesn't come down to how,
but if -
if we will love others enough to let them be them.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I am an instrumental griever. And have been told for years that it is wrong. I'm so glad God REALLY knows my heart, though so often people don't know, and don't care to know.


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