Living through the seasons of grief.
After a day in the garden or clearing out underbrush, a difficult day at the office, packing for a move, cleaning out the garage, working a double shift, or scrubbing floors, one might feel a myriad of responses ~tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, and/or possibly even satisfied. Work is a shared human experience. For the most part, work strengthens our character. It gives us opportunities to improve our skills and provide for our household needs. On the other hand if the work place is unpleasant, hostile, or threatening, we find ourselves in high levels of stress and avoidance. Hard work never hurt anyone, but grief work, hurts all of us. Mourning the death of a loved one is hard work. All be it, a work that is too often avoided, ignored and even denied. However it is not hostile to the heart, but healing. As with most endeavors, bereavement has its goal; to come to terms with our loss and brokenness while moving into the unknown path of pain leading towards new self identity. The emotional work required to move towards healing is a daily process. We wrestle with our pain, memories, past, regrets, guilt or shame. We struggle with acceptance and adjustments. We strive to establish balance, purpose and direction when everything appears to be unclear, dark, and tasteless. There isn’t a minute when we forget. Grief is relentless. Yes, grieving is hard work. When do we rest, recover, reclaim ourselves and find strength? Mini grief vacations come when we decide to take care of ourselves. A little exercise, quiet music, a simple meal, time with caring and understanding friends, a gentle walk, plenty of water, time under the sun, a little talk with God, or reading encouraging Scripture might be some useful and intentional ways to give yourself a rest from the grief. The Jewish culture advocates a Sabbath ~ a weekly day of rest from common labor and work. Just imagine what might happen if the bereaved gave themselves a Sabbath rest from the hard work of grieving. Just thinking . . . . and resting . . . .