There is nothing cryptic in the title. Death comes to invade our lives all the time. It is not even a depressing subject. It just is; I mean it exists whether we like it or not.
But death is often such a distant thing to most of us—unless we’re professionally disposed to it, i.e. police, nurses, doctors etc—most of the time. Then when it bites, via the loss of a loved one or someone close it’s hardly conscionable.
Waking... Uncertainty... Anxiety... Depression = Grief
We wake each day reminded again that life will never quite be the same again—it’s an inescapable reality... in the early going, some days are better than others... some are just awful, and so are some hours.
If we were close, our hopes for a day can be shattered in the matter of minutes—the pangs of anxiety shooting brazenly through our hearts. This stench is beyond us, how quickly it comes in and drowns us.
We become overwhelmed in the concept that we’ll never see this person again; that they’ll never be ‘coming around’ anymore.
Still, grief is an experience all must come around to.
The Only Reliable ‘End Game’ – Acceptance
Acceptance is our way; the Kübler-Ross grief model suggests this is the end point of all grief processes. And I’d suggest acceptance is the necessary level we need to maintain, or at least become better at exemplifying.
If we don’t truly experience the grief episodes that come part ‘n’ parcel with life, going any which way but the straight way, we not only delude ourselves, we cheat ourselves also in the longer run. Our fleeting courage runs away and we become less than we might.
There’s nothing wrong with tears; many tears of acceptance will be shed. Tears are courageous!
William Cowper said,
“Grief is itself a medicine.”
The point is we don’t need this medicine until we do, and it sure doesn’t feel like it’s doing us much good. But the first major grief handled truthfully and courageously—and accepted the best it can be at any given time—is the greatest medicine for the soul there ever can be.
It prepares us for the future—a stronger, more stable future for us and those close.
Recovered-over grief helps us begin to live life from the fresher, positive and suffering-world perspective that opens the eyes of our hearts—the heart of compassion we’re all capable of.
The grand point of grief is, life seems stark now and hardly bearable—yet, there will come a time when things might (again) become never better, if we contend with this season of life with a moral integrity of humility and not pride.
Grief, appropriately handled, makes us inevitably and ultimately better people.
But it takes as long as it takes.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.