Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grief in a box

I thought I had grief all figured out. That is, before I had ever truly experienced it in this capacity. I have suffered the loss of two very dear friends, and the loss of my father when I was 12yo. But the loss of my very own child, my first born, my teenager, my 16yo. is a whole different story.

I wanted to wrap grief up in a box, have it all figured out, contained neatly in a square container. You see, I'm a "just suck it up and do it" type of gal. I want to just get things done with and move on. If there's a job to be done by Friday, then I'm the gal that has is done on Monday.

But I'm quickly realizing that grief doesn't work that way. And neither does God. And honestly, it sucks. I hate it. How's that for real? I don't like surprises. I never have. I hate the way grief jumps on you when you least expect it. Grief doesn't respect boundaries. It has no limits or social graces. Grief lunges out at you at the grocery store in the cereal aisle when you realize you'll never buy your son's favorite cereal ever again. It mocks you as you walk by the men's clothing section and you realize you won't be buying those sizes anymore either. Grief is quick to remind you that, while you're happy for your friends' big moments, you realize your son will never have an 18th birthday party. Neither will you meet your son's girlfriend or future wife, attend his graduation, his wedding, or know what it's like to gaze at his newborn baby.

Grief doesn't give you answers. It only leaves you empty, broken, without strength, and powerless. I have never felt so weak, yet I am so overwhelmed at the generosity of friends and family. They are holding us up through prayers, meals, and hugs. It is a comforting and powerful thing to simply hug and say nothing. It is a comfort to not have to cook or think about meals or meal planning. It is all I can do to make sure the bills are still getting paid and the laundry washed. Our friends and family are our "hands." Exodus 17:10 tells the story of Moses in battle, growing weary and unable to continue, but with the help of his friends, the battle is won.

"So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up-- one on one side, one on the other-- so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword."

God, whose name is Jehovah Jirah (the LORD will provide), has provided for me and my family and continues to be gracious to us. He is gentle and tender, because grief is not. The LORD is my strength. 2Corinthians 12:9  'But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.'

So while I can't put grief in a box, I know, and am daily reminded, that my family and friends are holding up our arms for us and helping to carry this burden.

1 comment:

  1. oh my dear... you are so honest... and so real... and in truth is where there is hope... when i came to the page the song that came up??? "voice of truth"... you have no idea how the Lord uses that song to minister to my heart... just remember to listen to the voice of truth... not the liar... He is able... praying...