Saturday, February 16, 2013

Talk About It

Death is a part of life. Everyone experiences the death of a loved one.

"We are social beings, physical beings, and spiritual beings," says Rev. Clay Evans. "When you lose someone you are attached to, it is normal, it is natural, for you togrieve."

If grief is natural and is part of everyone's life, why is there a feeling of discomfort when someone mentions the death of a loved one? Why the embarrassment when tears come during an ordinary conversation? 
I can't count the number of times that this happened to me, happens to me.  I am having a conversation and something comes up and suddenly my voice catches, tears roll down my cheeks or I end the conversation quickly and turn and flee before that can happen.  It's unfortunate that it happens, it should not be this way.

People in grief may avoid their friends and even their church to prevent these awkward moments. This is not how it should be. Someone needs to move beyond the discomfort. Be the first one to squelch the prevailing attitude of embarrassment and unease, and start talking about grief

I remember sitting in the car outside the post office about 5 days after we lost Cole.  I was so afraid to go in.  I knew that I would see members of our community in there and I knew I would cry.  I forced myself to go in, dreading it with each step I took. 
In time I got better at being less uncomfortable with the unpredictable emotions inside of me and I also became better at just being me and not hiding my sorrow, not shirking from telling others about how I felt or abut our journey.

"Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2 NASB).

Which of these sentences best describes you? Your spouse? Siblings? Children?
A. I like to open up and share deep-felt emotions as often as possible.
B. I can think of a million things I'd rather do than bring up the pain again by talking about it.

Every person has his or her own way of reacting to grief, and men and women often respond differently.

I am person A, the one who brings up grief, the one who talks about it. I am the elephant in the room at times and, truthfully, I don't care anymore.  I have had people speak to me about it and say that it makes others uncomfortable. Guess what, I don't care.  Society will never move forward in helping others to grieve if we don't allow them to do it in every situation.  Do I think that there is a time and a place for it?  Yes, for sure....I am the first to admit that I am not always the best at knowing when that is.  Thankfully it has gotten better.  But I won't stop. I certainly will NEVER stop showing how God has worked in my life through my grief.  Because although this post started being about the times where you get emotional and about being uncomfortable about that happening I will say that I am far more uncomfortable when someone comes to me and tells me that my conversations about my TTTS journey, my loss and how my faith has grown from that has made someone else uncomfortable.  I am uncomfortable because I know that I am doing the right thing, that I am being a witness to God's love and power and as I am new to being 'born again in Christ' I haven't got that 'like a water on a ducks back' kind of mentality yet.

"My husband still has a hard time just talking about it," says Dora, who lost her daughter. "I think his way of dealing with it is to dive into work, to avoid it, to not talk about it. Many times it causes problems between us because I want to talk about it. For me, it's like he's not validating my suffering by allowing me to share it with him. For him, it's as if I'm opening up his wounds by wanting him to share it with me." 

I am fortunate that Geoff is good about letting me share and not squelching me but he also does not return the 'favour', he does not share how he feels.  So many of my online women friends have this exact scenario in their lives.  Their husbands or partners shut them out, they shut them down when they want to talk about the child that TTTS stole from them.  They tend to feel very alone and very misunderstood. 

You cannot change another person to grieve in a way that pleases you, but you can give your concerns about that person to God and pray that he or she will someday open up and release those crippling emotions.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

Lord Jesus, grieving is as natural and as common as loving. I want to help make it as acceptable, too. May my healing journey spark healing in those around me. Lord God, it's so important that I share my emotions with others. Only You can soften a heart that is hardened. Once again, I give it to You. Amen.

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