January 20, 2022 – The Grief Journey

It’s been a couple of weeks since I have shared about this journey that so many of us find ourselves on, some more unexpectedly than others.

There are so many causes of grief and so many struggling through this journey and it seems that there are so few willing to talk about it. Is it because we feel that by talking about our grief, we are admitting our weakness?

Are we afraid others will think less of us because we openly share our pain?

Are we afraid of being vulnerable? Or do we simply not know how to talk about grief?

I think, for most of us, it is a combination of things. Our culture tells us that we need to “get over it and move on.” We get a few days of bereavement time from work, maybe a little longer depending on the relationship. We have memorial services and share memories of loved ones and then everyone goes back to their “normal,” and you are left to deal with your grief and all that comes along with it. But what about those whose grief is caused by some other event? They are expected to keep on going with life as if nothing happened.

Grief requires healing, healing takes time and intentionality. It doesn’t happen overnight and it won’t happen without effort. How often is physical therapy required after an injury, surgery or illness?

Healing takes time, and so often with grief we fail to give ourselves time to heal, so we continue living a broken and fractured life.

I never expected to be on this journey at this stage of life. I had it figured out, a few more years of work and a time would come that Shari and I would retire. We had dreams of traveling and even discussed buying a small motor home, that way the kids couldn’t come home if they didn’t know where home was.

But I have learned, my plans are not always God’s plans. He has a different future in mind.

During the past several days, as I have been dealing with and recuperating from a second round of Covid, I didn’t feel much like writing or even thinking, for that matter. But I have spent time reflecting on the wonderful life Shari and I shared and the wonderful years that are ahead of me. Someday I will still retire and I still have dreams of places I’d like to visit, sights I’d like to see and things I’d like to do, and by God’s grace I will. I feel that over these last couple of weeks I have “turned a corner” or maybe “rounded a curve” on this grief journey. I will always miss Shari and will always love her, but the pain seems to be a little less and the emotions a little more stable.

If I can do it, so can you. Whatever the cause of your grief, give it time, find a trusted friend that you can share your pain with and allow the healing to happen in your heart.

Healing doesn’t mean forgetting, it is allowing your heart and soul to be mended so that you can go on with the life God has for you to live and enjoy.

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