Friday, August 3, 2018

The ever messy, rough-and-tumble of normal grief

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

The more we engage with those who have endured normal grief, the more grief can be endured as normal. I for one have been so enriched in community with professionals, pastors and laypeople in terms of enhancing my understanding of grief. Experience must be reflected on, communicated and shared.
In other words, learning about grief is augmented in community and stifled in isolation.
Yet, what we learn in a community of experience is:
Grief is an ever messy,
rough-and-tumble journey
toward a new normality
in the chaotic realms of acceptance.
Grief is like a clothes washing machine: it takes what was our ordinary life, runs us through cleaning cycles that discombobulate us, before it pours in clean water that rinses us of pride, and then spins us dry, wringing out every skerrick of superficiality. What’s left, in the garment that is our life, as it hangs to dry in the summer breeze, is something we’ll acceptably wear any season of the year.
It’s a becoming thing. The garment’s not dry yet. But you see the potential in it as flaps in tune to those gusts that heal the cloth.
The garment’s not dry,
the garment’s not dry,
leave it out longer,
trust wind from the sky.
That’s grief. It’s a process. It’s unpredictable, and by its unpredictability it’s teaching us something about the reality of life now.
Somehow, we’ve passed from a life as it was into a life that now is.
There’s grief even in the fact that the old life is to be said goodbye to. What is gone is lamented only as much as it is when we can’t yet bear what has come to be.
And what has come to be is a courageous life — enough to withstand the ferocity of the washing machine turbulence that sends us into nauseating tones of weariness as an ongoing state of affairs. What has come to be is a life that lives a hope beyond an everyday despair. Such a hope is fervent in hope in that it steps gainfully even in the realisation that it would prefer things to be vastly different. Such a hope is pregnant with faith, for faith walks a walk that is replete with doubt but it walks anyway, believing a vision of good and that that vision will come.
Grief is a journey of hope through hell by faith enough to trek right the way through.

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