Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grief Cannot Be Rushed

Your journey through grief cannot be compared to another person's journey. You will grieve in your way and in your time. Grief does not have a set time limit. The only certainty is that it will take longer than you want it to.

So very true.  How often did I just want normal to return, just want the pain to go away and my time of grief to be finished?  If it was just over then I would feel human again! 
"It's a process that cannot be rushed," says Dr. Robert Jeffress. "As a pastor who has dealt with hundreds and hundreds of people who have gone through a loss, I can tell you that it is a process, and it is a longer process than any of us want to believe.

"Going through grief is like going through a tunnel. The bad news is the tunnel is dark. The good news is that once you enter into that tunnel, you are already on your way out."

I have often talked about my grief being a dark pit but never really thought of it as a tunnel.  It is such a good visualization.  When you begin in that dark tunnel it seems endless.  You look ahead as far as you can and at times you are lucky if you can see your hand in front of your face.  As time goes on you may be able to see a speck of light at up ahead but it seems so far away, so impossible to get to.  But you are there and the tunnel only goes one way… you will make it out, you fill find that light.  

Your journey is your own, but you are not alone. Do not be afraid to cry out to God,

"How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" (Psalm 13:2).

Psalm 13[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Sometimes we just want to say how long, Lord, how long? This tunnel is so dark. Show me Your light.  Let God be your flashlight, your candle.  Let him lead you forward.

Sometimes other people try to help you get out of your grief by offering advice or "constructive criticism." They may admonish you to "get over it" or to "get back into life." These comments can hurt.

Remember, you have an insight into the grieving process that these people do not have. You know that the length of the grieving process is different for each person. You know you have to let the grieving process take place, because if you try to rush it, you will only prolong the healing.

"So many people will say: 'Well, it's been six months. Don't you think you should be over it by now?' But for each person it's different, and to say those things is very hurtful because maybe that person isn't ready," says Emy, a widow.

I just posted a note from facebook that another TTTS mom posted on this blog.  Amazing how this theme can resonate everywhere in your life at times.  This mom put it so perfectly, So don't ask me why I'm not over it, because I walk around my life every day, knowing that someone, who can never be replaced, is missing. Someone I never even met. “  No one has the right to tell you that you should be done grieving.  No one is walking in your shoes, thankfully.  Even those who have walked a similar path wear different shoes than you. 

You cannot rely on other people to say the right words and provide the right comfort, but you can rely on God.

Job's "friends" condemned him and did not understand his grief. "Then Job replied: 'I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all!'" (Job 16:1-2).

Father God, I know that my friends and family mean well, but they just don't understand that I am not there yet. Help me to know when I am. Holy Spirit, You are my Comforter. In You alone will I find refuge. Amen.

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