If we grieved openly as a culture, a whole lot of hurt would be entirely avoided, and the connection we were meant to have would form itself around love and shared pain. We would lose the necessity for blog posts titled “43 Things NOT to Say to A Grieving Human.”
There is a stigma around grief. We value grit and independence so much in this country, that we have lost sight of the value of seasons of weakness and need.
Death really is a part of our lives, and the more we are exposed to it in the pain of those we love, the more ready we will be to face it ourselves in the end. Do not be afraid of grief. Don’t.
It is God’s gift to the bereaved. The grief is for us, dear ones. It is God’s chosen instrument for our healing. It’s what helps us learn the meaning of Joy. No one understands Joy who has not faced death.
I thought Joy was the feeling I had when holding my babies in my arms for the first time, but I hadn’t yet gone deep enough. My Joy wasn’t found until after Dad died, in the moments I looked at my children when they didn’t know I could see. When I came home to a porch full of food and a bouquet of flowers. When my Facebook profile lit up with heartfelt messages of simple “love-yous.”
No, these things didn’t carry my pain away. No, they didn’t make me happy. These acts of Love and Charity cut deep into my soul and carved out a place in the foundation of who I am. There, I found out what Joy meant.
Joy is the sun. It is white hot, glaring, and sustains my very life. Sometimes, it burns. It is always there, even when it has set and night has come.
So, grieve, my friends.
Be weak. Be tired. Grieve. Hurt. Weep.
Life forces us to move on, sometimes at a pace we think is impossible. And it probably is, if try to go it alone.
So, slow things down. Talk about your grief. Name your loved one. Stay in bed. Let things pile up for awhile.
Lean into it. Feel it. Let it hurt. The agony doesn’t last. Not to this degree. But the longer you put off the surrender, the more casualties the battle will claim. Give up. Let weakness take over, so the strong can step in and carry you awhile. Soon enough, it will be your turn to be the strong one. And you can only do that if you’ve been weak yourself.
Grieve, my loves.
I will weep with you until the sun comes up again.