For JMG – who bears these lessons.
THEORIES are tested in the throes of life, and the thesis I’ve seen proven time and again — via those I’ve hoped to help and through the lessons learned in my own life — is that a grief done well is a grief done once. There’s no needing to go back over old ground when we’ve already attended to every nuance of pain in the grief, bearing every heartrending truth, to God’s consummate glory.
Truth is, God honours our preparedness to do what must be done in order to confront reality and be healed.
Remember Previous Losses You’ve Handled Well
It’s okay if you feel you’ll never get over this loss. All we need to remember is previous losses we got over. This gives us confidence. We did it before. We perhaps faced rejection, and, though it crushed us for a time, it didn’t ultimately. So, we go back and hold onto the victories of past; we thank God for them.
Moments of Disbelief, of Not Moving On, of Not Accepting It’s Over
To not accept reality, for a time, is completely normal. I like Pete Scazzero’s take on Bloom’s Taxonomy where he explains why it takes so long for us to learn. The bigger the concept of adjustment the longer it can take. In terms of grief, life’s asking us to adjust to such a massive transition of reality we’re bound to struggle for some time; months, sometimes a year or more. But the good thing is once we’ve learned what we’ve needed to, we “own” our new reality — it’s subsumed with joy into our identity. We don’t look back.
Feeling Like You’re Ready to Move On (Commence Something New)
Again, it’s normal and totally fine to be in a place where you can’t move on from the person or situation of your loss. (This fits in with what was discussed immediately above.)
Some parts of us cannot move forward because we’re not ready to let go; there is safety in holding on.
But then there comes the time you’ve long prayed for; when you actually want to create something new.
This is a wonderful day when you’re ready to cast off the mooring lines from what was safe harbour. And as those ropes are reeled aboard we watch the old self float off into the distance at the same as we steam forward, approaching with excitement the journey ahead. New discoveries are eagerly anticipated. Even as we move forward hope abounds on hope. A newer, bolder self proves to us the work of God in our growth.
Feeling Stuck In A Place You Can’t Get Out Of
Yet feeling stuck in an old place is a necessary forerunner to the above. They say that for change to stick we must have sufficient dissatisfaction with the present, a vision for the future, and hope in a process to get there.
Importantly, here, it’s suggested you don’t panic. Faith says you’ll get there.
Faith hopes in what we don’t presently see any chance in achieving. Faith has no hope, but because it hopes, it is faith.
A grief done well is a grief done once. Not only that. One grief done well makes it possible that future griefs are done well (but that will be the subject of a future article).
Somehow God has us experience the power of his healing — that we trusted faith, day after horrible day, month after long month — and we ultimately came through the other side of the tunnel of trial.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.