Grief is unavoidable. The death rate of the human race is 100%. So, unless you love no one [see Week 1] for your entire life – you will, at some point, experience grief.
This week, we focused on some general goals for “getting through” grief: Acceptance, Turning to God, Expressing Emotions and Establishing a new Identity. While everyone’s progression through these intentions may look different, there is a common objective: getting through it. Emphasis on the word through.
1.moving in one side and out of the other side of;
2.continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period).
You cannot get over grief. You cannot get around grief. You have to get through it.
This may be a long (potentially life-long) and difficult process. Some parts of it may be harder than others. For me, turning to God was natural. It was my first instinct. Prayer and scripture kept me from drowning in the “whys” and “what ifs” and helped me focus on what was. I never questioned, doubted or lost trust in God. For that, I am so grateful.
My challenge came in accepting my new reality and establishing a new identity as a mother who lost her baby. I am a planner. I organize, manage and prepare for everything. But this piece of my story I could not prepare for. There was no dress rehearsal; no notes to study or steps to follow on “how to” be a bereaved mother. So accepting and settling into this role God placed on me has taken time.
To be honest, sometimes it still doesn’t feel real. Like, something that tragic couldn’t have happened to me. But then I’ll see her picture, or her footprints in my Bible and I remember holding that tiny little body in my arms like it was yesterday. And the longing to hold her, to know her, is consuming. Friends, this role is a hard one to accept as mine.
And maybe you’ve been there or you are there or you’re heading in that direction. It could be your child, a sibling, a parent or your spouse. While no grief is equal, it is a stark equalizer of humanity. All I can say is you are not alone.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.