DEATH is such an inseparable reality that separation takes us close to madness, for we cannot reconcile that which cannot be undone. And hence we’re undone. Grief in the presence of loss is irreconcilable, uncontainable, nonsensical, and a roller coaster ride to boot.
Yet, is there a heart of healing wisdom in an inconsolable grief?
When we’re grieving we cling with all our lives to such a hope; for a possibility we need to believe is tangibly real for the attaining.
In grief we don’t simply fall, we plummet. It’s the feeling that the fall continues. That we never quite reach the bottom of the abyss. At least there are key fragments of time, even whole days, and possibly seasons, where this is the case.
In an inconsolable grief we don’t see a possibility that life as it was can ever return to the way it once was. We’ve lost touch with our past and we’ve lost control over our future. As a result we’re forlorn in the present; with no solidity of identity from the past and no solidity of hope for the future we’re rapidly overwhelmed. Everything that held us in the past has been vanished. Everything’s changed. And though we crave a new normal we can’t quite seem to let go of the old normal.
One of the worst parts of grief is the constant mood swapping that goes on when we have enough of our old perspective to say, “Sheesh, enough of this already! I’m getting really tired of you…” We may never have ever felt we could ever get so frustrated with ourselves, but, like we cannot stand it when someone else criticises our family, and yet we’re allowed to, we need everyone to understand just what we’ve dealing with; we need a special consideration of empathy.
That Heart of Healing Wisdom
When we’ve come to a point of being tired of the rat race of grief we’ve come to the terms of our acceptance. What we cannot control must be accepted. We learn the peace of letting go. And yet it takes literally dozens of attempts at trial and error. Patience is the key.
Grief, of course, is a requiem to love, a monument for the losses we can’t bear to lose. It’s a scream in the vacuous depths for a memory that cannot be let go of. It’s a silence for which words always betray.
The heart of healing wisdom is not simply a wisdom for now, but for future, and for all eternity. That heart of healing wisdom finds itself formed out of the very visceral anguish of grief. That heart of healing wisdom can be learned no other way.
That heart of healing wisdom is a mystery, and it certainly cannot be quantified here. You are too precious to be robbed of the opportunity of learning what works and makes sense to you.
But in the process, learn new habits, be open to new things, don’t be afraid of letting go of most things, but jealously guard those things in the loss that you know are yours to keep. Make beautiful monuments of them in your heart. Be prepared that life will change, and not that life has just changed until now.
Grief is a signal of the flux we’re going through. It always feels painful at the time, but God will show us more in time. And for most of us, in most of our experiences, we’ll mostly need time.
That heart of healing wisdom is a precious gift that can only be acquired in having our hearts healed in time with wisdom.
Grief is a reality all too real, a reality requiring us to be gentle with ourselves.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.