Coming out of the first year of grief is like leaving the hospital for the rehab clinic. The first few months after a loss are spent in ICU with the next following months slowly recovering enough to move to the regular floor. Finally, it's time to move to rehab, to enter rehabilitation therapy. Now the real work begins. The first part is simply staying alive, keeping the bereaved living. Once that's accomplished, then it's on to rehab, beginning the recovery process of re-learning how to live again with a part of you missing.
The process of rehabilitation is frustrating and exhausting. I am still not sleeping well, unable to fall asleep most nights until midnight or later. In particularly weak moments when the pain of grief is simply unbearable, I find myself crying out to God asking, "Why? Why did you take my son? Why mine?" It is pain speaking. A year of sleeplessness and continued illness certainly doesn't help with one's state of mind, either.
I have also struggled, from the beginning, with prayer. I found myself (and still do at times) asking, "What's the point? If someone has a set time to die, then why pray?" I have lamented to God. For months now, I have silently inundated Him with my questions and doubts. And I know He hears. I'm not worried, for He knows the honest cry of my heart.
Last night I picked up Streams in the Desert and read the entry for August 1st. What a timely reminder! "My child, you can trust the Man that died for you. If you cannot trust Him whom can you trust?" Also yesterday, a friend posted a link on my FB for one of the speakers on our GriefShare videos. And what should his post be about? Prayer, of course. http://paultrippministries.blogspot.com/2011/10/transforming-power-of-prayer-part-1.html
Our Heavenly Father is so very tender and loves us so. We can spurn the comfort He gives or turn to Him in trust. I can cling to the hurt I feel or surrender it to Him, allowing Him to be the Great Physician, tending to my grievous wound.
So though there are days and moments of unspeakable pain, and while I don't profess to understand all of it, I know and accept the truth of God's Word because I know He is faithful, and I know His character.
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body,
this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you
for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again
your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me."