This is a daunting article to write, for the sheer fact I’m out of my depth.
I’ve suffered sufficient loss and grief to be in the ballpark, but I’m unsure I’ll slide a run all the way home. But seeing God has given me the thought, and shown me a need to wrestle, let me attempt its resolution.
The reason I feel a little unqualified is, though I’ve suffered ambiguous loss and some complicated grief, I’ve never had raw tormenting grief that would never go away. Like deeply depressive grief that didn’t subside after six or twelve months (which is the focus of this article).
I’ve found through both my own experience and that of others that the rawness of grief tends to last, typically, between a few months and several, but usually less than a year.
This article is for those who are windswept by paralysing grief at least fifty percent of their days, and it’s been nearly a year or over a year since the loss event.
Firstly, my heart goes out to you! Not just for your pain, but also for your loneliness and sense of betrayed isolation. Very few people, perhaps nobody you’ve encountered yet, truly understand. But what you face is true and real. You know it! You cannot reconcile what you feel. So, be gentle with yourself, and know that you know that you know: God knows and feels your pain as acutely as you do. Go gently.
Secondly, even though it’s taking a little longer to come to terms with a new normal, consider your capacity for love to be higher than that of the average person.
Try this perspective out: the person who loves the most in life, gives more of themselves than most, and feels the deepest pain in loss. The more we love, the more we lose when loss comes.
The cost of your grief is the price you paid for your love when you experienced loss. Try and be thankful for what you had without being drawn back too much into that past. If you can’t quite be thankful, I understand and appreciate your effort.
Thirdly, take deliberate impetus. Make plans, especially on good days. On a good day, soon, be ready. On horrendous days, rest and recuperate, and try not to dream up problems. But when the day comes for doing something, be ready. Be prepared to do something you’ve planned for some time to do. Don’t be afraid of doing something new that feels right to do.
Fourthly, let yourself grieve in the faith that says there’s simply more grief to be endured. This understanding believes there’s a passage to travel in grief. Grief feels as if it should be done quite some time before it is. Take courage in the hope that the majority of your grief has been suffered. And whilst you may never feel like you did, take encouragement in the reality that you’re stronger now than ever, even if you don’t feel that way.
Fifthly, take heart that there’s something very special about your loss, and that God will show you this before you’re entirely done with it. He may even show you how your life is redefined by what/who you lost. Perhaps this gift of grief, that/their memory, you’ll carry with you, a part of them/what you had, until you yourself depart.
Love feels like gain until we encounter loss. To lose is to learn the value of love.
How fickle life is that the best causes the worst, but the worst redefines and clarifies what the best really is.
It is said that the butterfly is living proof that raw beauty can come from something pitch dark.