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English: Hillside with grieving sheep

English (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grief is difficult.  There is no “right” way to grieve;  the process is an individual one, and the stages of grief are messy.  It’s unpredictable.  Fine one minute, crying in Target the next.  And it does not get better with time.   It would be great if we really could forget trauma;  the reality is that we don’t.  We go over and over an event, a sentence, trying to figure things out, or make sense of things that do not make any sense at all.

Trauma gets re-enacted, in a desperate and usually unconscious effort to get a different outcome.  This person will not leave.  This person will not reject me.  Until they do.  And we relive our personal nightmares all over again.  We are left with memories and fragments of conversations that will forever remain unfinished;  sentences dangling in eternity.  Weren’t we just having coffee?  Weren’t we going to do such-and-such?  This week?  The silence is deafening.

God holds our hearts;  if He didn’t, we couldn’t exist after loss.  When we’re grieving, performance and productivity are not options.  If we’re lucky, we breathe.  But we don’t forget.  We do not ever forget.  It would be nice to have a memory eraser.  Just for an afternoon.  Mornings and weekends are the most difficult for those dealing with depression;  I read this somewhere.  I don’t know that I can say it’s true;  everything in between is difficult, to me.  Make coffee;  breathe.  Put laundry in.  Breathe again.  Take shower.  Now what?  Oh, yeah.  Breathe.

And pray.  God help me to get through today, because I don’t know how.  I have friends who are grieving today;  the loss of loved ones, whether through divorce, or death.  Many of them far greater losses than mine.  Why God made us capable of caring so much for people, I don’t know.  But we do.

And while we’re grieving, life happens. It continues.  We watch from the sidelines, and wonder.  Some days, we put our toe in the water.  Too cold;  not today.  Maybe tomorrow.  Some days we forget, for a moment, and laugh.  A blessed moment.  Some days are better than others, in that we are stronger.  We lean heavily on the arm of God, but we walk forward.  Partly because life demands it;  bills have to be paid, car repairs have to be made.  Today we’re driving my daughter up to see her boyfriend at college.  It should be a good day.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness….”    `Isaiah 41:10