Monday, September 3, 2012

Finding Meaning In Ambiguous Grief

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
There are more people than we realise who suffer with ambiguous grief—having experienced loss that cannot ever be easily reconciled. Missing persons and not having the ability to say goodbye are examples. For many of these instances of grief there may only be hope for meaning beyond this life; but that is, in itself, enough of a hope.
The grandest of faith is holding out such a hope when the reality doesn’t exist. We can see the courage it takes to live with ambiguous loss. And the challenge is to find peace.
As I said, the grandest of faith is to believe inner peace is possible where it seems improbable.
The Most Courageous of Human Beings
For those human beings who may very well struggle to readjust back to normal life there is an admirable courage we should note.
If such a person has the possibility of hope in their sights their courage, their faith, is all the more marked. This hope drives them interminably on to research life in such a way as to leave no stone unturned in the quest for a remedy.
Along the way this person finds many others who will actively or passively deride the remedy—they don’t believe it’s possible. But they are not the ones that have to believe in it. Only the person affected, only that one who grieves in an ongoing sense, who has nothing to lose in searching, needs to believe. They also need to not listen to ‘non-believers’.
I think we can see the courage it takes for the person very much alone in their ongoing loss. I think we can see their faith—the resplendent colour of their hope. They are inspirational when that would be the last thing they would think they are.
Actually Making ‘the Find’
Having not given up on the hope for which we must forwardly trudge, simply because we must hope, and there is no choice but to continue forward, that hope is eventually realised. We do all become eventually vindicated upon holding a virtuous hope.
When we actually make the find, we are blessed.
Our hopefulness in the starkness of despair has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because we refused to give up hope, inner peace may eventually be realised.
Believing in a hope that appears impossibly distant requires much courage, much faith. If we find we are compelled to hope, that we cannot help hoping, we are blessed. If we struggle for hope we must hold on as if we are compelled to hope. Hope will get us through.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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