Most of the journeys that we will face in life can be planned out and prepared for prior to beginning them. Often there are check lists created and tasks that must be completed prior to the start of each one. However, this isn’t true for every journey we’ll take throughout our lives. Some things just can’t be planned out or prepared for ahead of time. There will be times that life just happens…generally when we least expect it.
Grief is not a journey that can be prepared for because most of the time we can’t see it coming. It hits us out of left field and immediately our journey through grief begins.
How I’m Learning to Grieve with Hope This Week
While we likely won’t be grieving alone, it can feel like we are alone because each person processes grief differently. It is important to not compare how we’re grieving the loss of our loved one to how someone else is handing their loss. Each grief journey is unique because every person is unique.
The emotions that we face while grieving will be all over the place. Countless times I’ve found myself laughing remembering happy moments with the loved ones I’ve lost and only minutes later had tears pouring down my face as I lay on the ground in agony missing them.
My husband reminds me in these moments that grief comes in cycles. There will be good minutes, hours and sometimes even days. I’m learning to embrace them as they come. In the same way there are excruciating minutes, hours and days of sorrow. I’m allowing myself the time I need to work through these difficult moments without pushing them away or sinking into depression.
Beyond the emotional struggles of the grieving process, I’ve struggled with depression, feeling like I was losing my mind and denial. I’m learning that these are not struggles unique to me, but instead they are a natural part of grieving.
For much of my life I’ve always been a planner, but have been striving to live life without them, but during the grieving process I’m finding that I am having to rely on daily to do lists because I lose track of time.
Depression has been a huge part of my adult life as well and grief makes it easy to return to my old way of handling things. In the midst of my sorrow I have to pay close attention to how far I let my emotions go. When I find myself struggling with depression I know that getting outside is the best way to combat it. So, currently I’m looking forward to warmer spring and summer days so that I can put on my sneakers and hit the ground running. For now, I’m having to settle for a walk because of the cold winter temperatures in Maine.
Even though I haven’t made it through a day without crying during my current grieving process, I realize that I have taken steps towards a healthier grief process. While I am making this journey alone because it is unique to me as an individual, knowing that others are facing emotional, mental and physical struggles like I am just in different ways has brought me comfort…
Somehow I don’t feel so alone.
When I do find myself feeling alone and lost within the emotions of my grief I keep bringing myself back to this quote from Winston Smith.
Let the feelings expose the questions of your soul so that you know exactly what you need to be bringing to the Lord and asking for help with.
I’ve known for most of my life that I haven’t ever handled grief properly. That is why I began this journey towards learning to grieve with hope with my besties. This week we’re beginning our book study through Grieving with Hope, by Samuel J. Hodges.
Every week we’ll each be sharing our thoughts on the same chapter. It is our hope and prayer that as we learn to grieve holding tightly to the hope we have in Jesus Christ that others will be encouraged and strengthened that are on their own grief journey.
You can follow my journey towards grieving with hope here.