Monday, May 13, 2013

HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST????

Have you asked yourself any of these questions-----When will the pain go away? When will life return to normal? When will I no longer feel like I'm so alone in the world?

The good news: Grief will not last forever.
You will laugh again. You'll find new balance and purpose. The initial raw pain and crying spells will ebb. You'll go from crying A LOT, to crying several times a day, to several times a week. Then several times a month, to every couple months and less as life picks up and you're involved again.
Time becomes more liquid, though, and sometimes you'll experience the memories and grief as if you're still in the moment. I think that's OK. It means you're human; you're created in the image of God who is not bound by time. God transcends time and when we experience memories as vividly as if we're still there, it's because we're created in the image of God who never forgets anything but forgiven sin.
So lean into the memories, lean into the grief. Don't be afraid, this won't hurt so badly forever.

The bad news: Grieving takes longer than we want.
In our push-button/instant gratification culture we hate to wait! We want quick relief! Grief doesn't work like that. Ancient Israel allowed 40 days for mourning--at the most we're allowed a week or two off work or school. And there are social expectations. People in Bible times wore sackcloth and ashes. They wailed and mourned out loud in public. Today's widows look pretty good, they're complimented on "how strong" they are; they're shushed away; patronized to numb any pain with medications and pleasure because they "deserve to be happy." People! Listen! Can we let her just be sad for a bit?
It's impossible to put a time frame on grief. Everyone's situation is so different; widows' range from teens to elderly, deaths occur instantly or with long anticipation, loss may be contained or it may avalanche with multiple losses. Some widows only need six weeks, most need at least six months, some will need six years. But we all only want about six minutes!
Widowhood is the hardest challenge and test many women will ever face. Ask for professional help if you think it's taking too long, if you feel "stuck," if you're falling into depression. It takes time, but making the effort to take the time to work through it will reap a rewarding and richly satisfying future.

More good news: Widows who take an active role in their grief can resolve it earlier than those who don't.
Facing into the storm of your suffering, intentionally working through it, and gleaning all the wisdom you can will help bring about your desired acceptance and closure.
In my opinion, when widowed, allow yourself to concentrate on the first year and all "the firsts" it will bring your way. Don't complicate it by adding a boyfriend. Don't move or change jobs unless it's absolutely necessary. Use the time to become a student of yourself and your own grief. Attend grief seminars and support groups. Read!
Talk! Find a widow who can be your walking partner, prayer partner or mentor. Carefully check out widows groups on the Internet, start a blog about your experience. Tell your story. (Stay safe, though. Tread carefully and protect your privacy. Evil people who prey on widows really do exist).
Next, allow yourself to ease into the second year with the realization that it will be very different from the first year. Note your discoveries, establish a foundation of wisdom and gratitude, develop an understanding of your new and special relationship with God.
Then, if you feel like you're done grieving, you're done! Of course there will occasionally be days that knock the wind out of you, but that's life--and love. Cry it out, cling to the Lord, and count on Him to carry you through. Joy will come in the morning, and--- through the mourning.

Where are you in your grief journey? Are you just starting out, do you see some twists and turns ahead, or are you sliding into home? ferree

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Feeder for these words of hope. I cling to Gods hope and comfort daily. I have and still experience the things you mentioned. Some days are " pretty good"... others " not so good"... but thank. God the " really bad days" have lessened.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry.." feeder".. should be ...Ferree...this kindle doesn't act right...

    ReplyDelete
  3. dear ferree,
    when does one feel like theyre done greiving as you stated ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Anonymous, That is such a good question and one that everyone would like a specific answer to. I wish I could tell you that after 40 days, or 6 months, or one year you'd feel done with it---but I can't. It's an individual experience; everyone's journey is different because so many differing situations factor into it.
    If you're feeling like you're "done" but worry that you haven't grieved "long enough"---you can probably rest easy---you might still get slammed with a bad day here and there, but the good news is that since there is no specified time limit for grief, you truly might be "done!"
    On the other hand, if it's been years and you feel the same weight of sadness as in the beginning, then you could easily admit that you're still grieving. A good counselor is always an option, whether you're 6 days, 6 months or 6 years into the journey, and they can help give you a framework for the experience.
    But no matter how long we grieve, I think it's important to know that we can simultaneously experience peace with God. And that peace will aid tremendously in navigating the choices and emotional roller coaster rides of grief. I hope everyone will always ask her local pastor about about finding peace with God through this time, or if he/she is unavailable, please email me at WCplace@gmail.com to talk about it.
    I hope this helps answer your question, but please let me know if there's anything else on your mind. ♥

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am not always able to reply but your remarks mean a lot to me and will appear as soon as possible.

Here are some tips for commenting:
Remember to click the Publish button.
Choosing the anonymous identity is easiest if you do not have your own blog.
Using a computer rather than a cell phone seems to work better. Thanks again!