For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Grief isn't about the Past, Which is Why it Takes Time to Get Past Grief

I looked through the pictures as I copied them to the USB drive. Pictures of toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids, junior high kids, high schoolers, and now young adults. They span a decade and a half, and I look and I smile and laugh and remember. My heart was joy full.

But then...there were pictures of a decade of 30s with his small children he could let climb on his back and could sit on his foot and he could still walk like a robot. Pictures of him playing chase and throwing snowballs and dancing with his daughter's bare feet on top of his and wrestling his Favorite Boy. Pictures of NASCAR races and Valentine dances and Lego creations galore.

Then they stop.

The pictures of him.

The pictures of the kids continue, but none are with him.

And you know what? All those amazing memories of their dad aren't want make my kids said. When he died six years ago, it wasn't all those memories that made them grieve. Really. It wasn't.

What made them grieve were the pictures that would never be taken.

See, grief isn't about missing the past, although it may feel like it because the past is something tangible we can see and know and experience. Grief is about missing today and tomorrow and the prom and picking out a car and waling down an aisle.

Grief is about the big empty possibilities of what could have been and we feel should have been.

It is the phone calls and conversations that never happen and the coffee that doesn't get drank and the movies that never get discussed.

Grief isn't what the past was. It is about what today and the future won't be.

People try to make it easier by saying it was just a boyfriend/girlfriend, friend for a season, family pet, family member, and it shouldn't be so hard and the grieving should get over it, but that really dismisses the reality of grief.

Because that boyfriend/girlfriend isn't the one to call when that quirky thing happens anymore, and the Guinea pig isn't going to snuggle anymore, and the friend isn't going to call, and that family member isn't going to hug you the way she always did, and there are a million little holes we have to adjust to because the person who filled them no longer does, and we are grieving the joy that could have filled those holes.

That is grief.

And it takes time to adjust to those holes, to miss what could have been there, to feel joy in what is there now, and you know what, that's okay. It's okay that you miss the joy and what was and you wish for more of it. And it's okay if today is hard or the next three months are fine and you hit a hole and feel like you just fell on your emotional face. Really, it's okay.

Some holes get filled pretty easily or quickly. Some remain gaping open for the rest of your life because nothing can fill them, but God can give comfort to handle them and to find joy in what is there so you aren't lost in what is missing. You know, that is okay too. To find joy in what is here. It doesn't devalue what it missing. It just gives acknowledgement to the joy you are gifted with now, and it really is okay to feel joy now.

For those who are feeling the weight of the empty, my prayers and heart are with you. Even as you walk through the gaping holes, may you find comfort and be gifted with joy.

Love and prayers for your comfort, joy, peace, and healing,

No comments:

Post a Comment