Is it time to unlock your grief room?

“It’s a place we visit from time to time, but we’re not meant to live there.”
 

When is it appropriate to move out from your grief room after someone you love has died? Every one has an opinion on this. It’s more of a state of mind and emotions than a room of course, but you get the idea.

I believe going through all of our emotions is important. Its necessary, but there comes a time when remaining here for too long can be harmful. We need to be able to engage outside it.

Maybe this means finally getting the counseling you’ve been avoiding. Having coffee with a friend. Going to a movie. Calling that friend back whose left you a million messages. Addressing that stack of laundry. Yeah, those yoga pants? You should wash those. Going to church on Sunday. Volunteering at church. Going back to Bible study again, or accepting the various invitations to join one.  Doing things you used to. Trying new things. The list is endless.

We have a million excuses.

It’s overwhelming and even harder to explain how such a place of pain can become a safety net. We find ourselves spending more and more time in it rather than outside it. Only you have the power to unlock your grief bubble and peer out into the world where life continues on.

We’ll never get over our loss but we need to work toward our healing, without taking out a second mortgage on our grief room. It’s hard work. Really hard. Have you struggled with this? I have.

I know I will always need to be healed from the inside out as I continue to miss my son David, and the synthetic drug battle also continues to rage on. This just adds yet another layer of grief.

Despite this indescribable anguish that grips us, God’s mercy is stronger. Where there is anguish there is also healing, and where there is healing, there is also living. Right now.

There comes a time when any good father gently guides his children forward. It’s a sign of his love.  Over the years, ours sons played sports. My husband and I were always there to root them on.  Mike may have told them to “rub dirt on it,” “shake it off,” or my personal favorite, “stop playing with bugs in the grass!” If the boys let themselves get side tracked, they wouldn’t be able to focus on the next play, let alone the next game. Mike was simply giving them the extra push they needed to move forward.  God does the same.

God wants to reshape, renew and redefine us. He is with us each and every time we muster the courage to venture out of our comfort zone. It’s a big deal. It’s a check mark.

I don’t know about you, but at some point during these cycles I just get tired of it. Don’t you ever want to engage in what’s going on ‘on the outside?’

Dear Friend,

No matter how recent your loss, spending time in our grief room is normal. It’s a place we visit from time to time, but we’re not meant to live there.  God meets with you here to be sure, but he also wants to lovingly ease you out into the land of the living. 

Some of you have spent far too long in this cramped space. I pray you will trust God nudging you toward the door. Crack it open, air it out a bit. Walk outside and feel the sun and wind on your face. 

Promises

Joshua 1:9

 

 

 

 

 

The weight of Mother’s Day

“…what follows will shift your focus from the brick in your pocket toward the joy of the day…” 

The heaviness felt on this day is challenging for those who have lost a child or a Mother.

The commercials started a couple of weeks ago. Facebook will soon be inundated with celebratory pics and that’s the way it should be. So, how can we navigate our hearts to celebrate with others while also carrying the deep weight of our loss?

This is a question we’re faced with all the time isn’t it? Life goes on and we need to keep up, but this requires balancing our pain in the process. Does it ever go away?

In the movie Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman’s character tragically loses her son.  She asks her mother, who’d lost her son 11 years ago the same question, “Does it ever go away?” The mother describes it this way,

“No. I don’t think it does. But it changes though…the weight of it. At some point it becomes bearable.  It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and…carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you, you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and – there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful – not all the time. Not that you’d like it exactly, but it’s what you’ve got instead of your son. So you carry it around, and it doesn’t go away which is fine actually…”

I’m not sure if the writer wrote this response from personal experience but its stuck with me. Fictional or not, it’s a great word picture.

Mother’s Day will look different for everyone. For me, I will acknowledge the heaviness of the day. I’ll grab the oversized card my son David gave me seven years ago, a month before he died. I’ll read and re-read it. I was loved. He is missed every day. Tears and prayers will follow.

Then, I’ll release my hold on the brick and embrace the joy right in front of me; spending time with my son Daniel who graduates from college this weekend. (There may or may not be a bullhorn involved during the formal ceremony. Just sayin.) Family and friends will gather for BBQ, cake and hugs. Tears and prayers will follow. What better way to spend Mother’s day? Beautiful.

Dear Friend,

Take time for yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling.  Don’t ignore it. Reflect with sweet remembrance of your Mother, son or daughter. I’m praying what follows will shift your focus from the brick in your pocket toward the joy of the day, as you celebrate with the people you love and who love you. Beautiful.