Living through the seasons of grief.
What if grief was an option? Who would take it? Can’t think of too many who would willingly sign up for that kind of uncertain full body slam. While mourners cannot choose to wake up tomorrow and find themselves in a different emotional, mental, and physical continent, we can choose how we will travel the unfamiliar terrain in which we find ourselves. So let’s talk a little about the freedom of choice and how that influences the outcome of our crushed souls. We can choose to do things that contribute to wellness. Even with limited appetite, we can choose healthy foods to eat; we can take additional vitamins and minerals to enhance our body’s health. Any outdoor exercise improves our circulation and thus increases our capacity to deal with the surges of emotional tides. We can choose what we listen to and allow music to be a calming influence in our daily routine. We can choose to write about our process. Keeping a special book that captures our pain is a safe and useful tool of releasing the whirlpool of fear, guilt, blame, shame, anger, pain, sorrow, and despair. Have you imagined the potential of choosing healing? Sometimes the bereaved believe that clinging to our pain is evidence of our unending devotion to the one we dearly love. Choosing to heal can be one of the most difficult choices we make. Healing has no predetermined process; it comes differently for each one. Choosing healing actually demonstrates respect for the deceased in that we are allowing their absence to create space for us to become whole again and even deeper, richer individuals than before. This kind of healing comes from a Higher Power than ourselves. Choosing to trust God with the process of healing just might be our most important choice of all. How would it work if we made just made one conscious choice each day to move towards health and healing? We might find that one day leads to the next and the uncertain terrain of living apart from the one we love is moving us further from darkness and brokenness and nearer to an open, mended, and giving heart.