Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Tale of Permission

     Grief is not a cycle, it is not a wheel, or step by step process.  Grief, for you, looks very different than what it looks like to me.  God designed each of our fingerprints to be unique, and similarly He designed each of our journeys through grief in the same way.  No one should expect your grief to look like theirs.
     Now that being said, I am a firm believer in facing your grief and not sweeping it under the rug.  Ripping it off very much like a band aid.
     If you lose a child or lose your ability to conceive or carry a child, and then live your life as if it didn't happen, I promise you the grief will come out.  Wouldn't you rather be in control of when that grief makes an appearance?!?
     Unfortunately, I have heard moms express the inability to connect to a pregnancy or baby after the loss of a child because they never dealt with their previous loss.  A new baby won't replace the one that was lost, therefore once the new child is home the pain from the first loss is not removed it is just simply masked.
     I remember being in the depths of my pain and feeling bad for the emotions I was having.  It wasn't until someone game me permission to feel whatever I was feeling.  To acknowledge the emotions I was feeling, so that I would be able to work through them.  This validated where I was at, and assured me that what I was feeling was ok.  When you are able to move from one emotion to the next it is like layers of scars forming and your pain begins to heal.
     So if you are needing permission, here it is... Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you need to!

     What you are feeling is valid and quite normal.  Don't let someone who hasn't walked in your shoes tell you how to feel.  God gave you each and every emotion you feel.  Yes, even anger.  Just taking a glimpse at infertility you can be angry with yourself, your spouse, your body, your doctor, your blood work, the possibilities are endless.
Anger is the most common emotion people assume is wrong to feel, especially when it is aimed at God.  Anger is a huge step along the grief journey.  Anger may even come up more than once.  And it is ok, you are not crazy, you are not a bad person, you aren't even a bad Christian for being angry at God.  As long as we work through that anger and don't camp out there.  You become a stronger person when you can overcome an emotion like anger.  Before you know it, you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
     You know the saying, time heals all wounds.  I was extremely skeptical of it's truth too, until I found myself having more good days than bad.  I hadn't miraculously gotten over all the pain of losing my children, but what had happened is some healing.  Through relationships, through reading, and through time spent with God.  Healing can and will come, but it does take effort.  It's not going to plop down in your lap.  You have to work through those emotions, as hard as they are to face.
    Grief may never be over, and it's pretty safe to say you will never forget it.  But, what we can move past is the extreme rawness.  The little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, becomes brighter and closer.