I read this blog post today. It was powerful and eye-opening. I mulled about it for a while after reading it and came to the conclusion that I've had some wrong thinking. Wrong about time moving forward and how it relates to grieving. For me, it isn't a matter of stepping into the new year after having tripped messy through the last, to paraphrase Ann Voskamp. It's about reframing my thinking of another year without my son.
You see, with each passing day of 2012 I felt that every day was just one more further and further away from my son. I know that may not seem rational, but for those who have lost a child, you get what I'm saying. In a sense, the closer we are to the day our child died, the closer we are to our child. In a strange way, we think staying close to our grief will keep us close to our loved one. Because that day was the last day they were alive. And who doesn't want to be with the living? Who wants to identify with the dead? Certainly not a bereaved parent. The absolute last thing you want to tell someone is that you have a child, but they died.
Voskamp's post, however, helped me to realize the truth. The truth is this. That moving forward isn't taking me further away from Matt. In fact, it's doing quite the opposite. Every day forward is one step closer on my own journey home and the reunion awaiting me of all my loved ones who trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
But grief has a way of putting his fingers over your eyes, obscuring the path, doing his best to lead you astray. And though grief is our companion along the way, he is not to be trusted. There is only one guide we can trust, and that is God. God peeled away grief's fingers and showed me that going forward was o.k.
He showed me that I needed to reframe. As Ramon Presson states, "Psychologists often speak of reframing--the ability to look at an issue or a problem from another perspective, especially a perspective that is more accurate, more complete, or more positive." (p.47 of When Will My Life Not Suck) For me, to reframe means that I need to think about Matt. Not about the loss of Matt.
Much like Voskamp's daughter not wanting to play her recital piece, I didn't want to play the piece given me, either. The score of a bereaved parent. Yet the Teacher patiently instructs and waits. He knows that music will come if the student will only look forward and play the next bar. Trusting the Teacher.