Experiencing Grief

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By Cheryl Shepherd

Grief is such a strange thing. It seems to know just how much we can handle of it before we will crumble beneath it’s weight.

It shows up suddenly and ever so quietly leaving a wake of shocking raw emotion, then…dissipates into a million pieces, attached to the memories it came with and returning us once again to our previous state… 

-numbness

-denial

-anger

-fear

-regret

…but little by little, doing the job it came to accomplish – forcing us to heal – forcing us to take one more step forward, toward becoming a shadow of who we were before the loss or perhaps who we are meant to be in spite of it.  

We need strength for embracing these times of complete weakness. 

We must be strong and resilient under these unbearable circumstances. One devastating wave after another; one hopeless day after another – Some days ending in an all encompassing fear that we could have never imagined – yet somehow we are not broken. 

It takes great strength to allow grief to take its time in doing what it came to do. 

It takes courage to take care of yourself while being the rock for those who rely on you, in the midst of the brokenness and sorrow. 

Still, we must hold on to hope and allow healing, no matter how painful and at times seemingly pointless. 

 

We must forge ahead for ourselves and for those we love. 

If you are reading this and you have suffered a loss, I know you don’t feel strong in this moment but you ARE strong – you ARE resilient and you WILL survive this…even if only to provide a small ray of hope for someone traveling this desolate path; just to say “you are not alone”. 

You must live life as normal as you can in the wake of such turmoil and sadness.  You must get up each day…wash your face – feel the sunshine on your skin – talk to God – yell at God (He understands), cry and though it may be the most empty words you will ever speak…say “thank you Lord for this day and for the the strength you have given me to make it to tomorrow.”

Then, when tomorrow comes …start the process again. It will get easier. 

And when it would appear that all hope is lost – keep fighting and persevere! Remember you are a conquerer in the greatest battle anyone can face! 

You have suffered a great loss and while it’s true, you may no longer be whole and perhaps you feel that you will never be whole again; you are now an unwilling member of a group of warriors;

-wounded from battle but mending;

-hurting but healing; 

-broken yet finding strength; 

-defeated but continuing to fight this battle to its completion…wherever that may lead.

Above all, please remember to ask God for strength when you feel gripped by the reality of how frightening this road ahead may seem. Allow those who create the interwoven fabric of your life, to support you and continue to push you forward through the blinding pain in the midst of these darkest of moments. 

And when grief has finally done it’s job… you will find the ability to 

-grasp a moment to reflect on a memory 

-a moment to appreciate

-and yes; even a moment to laugh. This will bring healing to your soul.                           

May you be fearless in stepping out and living a life worthy of the memory of your dear loved one. 

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