Sunday, May 6, 2012

Waves of Grief

Now that I am almost ten months past Jimmy's exit to Heaven I am seeing how grief is like the waves of the ocean.

Have you been in the ocean when the water is really rough and there are a lot of waves? As the wave hits you, you are taken under and you can either struggle against the wave or you can let it take you out knowing that it will let you up again at some point. When you get hit by one sometimes you are able to stand up before the next one hits you but then other times you are not even able to stand before the next one hits you. In the beginning of the grief process the waves of grief come at you hard knocking you down just as hard. There are times when you don't have even one second to "pull yourself together" before the next wave hits even harder. Then there are times when you have a few hours or even days before the next hard wave hits. As each waves hits you it takes you under as if trying to keep you down. You start to believe that this will be your reality for the rest of your life, the life being taken out of you by each wave.

As time goes on the waves of grief seem to be more like water that could be called moderate when the waves come but not as hard or as often. You will be taken down by the waves however they will not keep you down for near as long and they will not be quite so frightening. Since they are not coming as often you have time to stand up in between the waves. The grief comes over you at times that sometimes you expect and others you don't expect. During this time it comes over you on days that were special to you and your loved one like anniversaries, holidays and so on. Then there are times when it comes at very unexpected times such as when you remember a great memory with them, or you smell their "smell" unexpectedly. At least now you have time to catch your breath before the next waves takes you under.

As you come to a point where you are even further away from the day you lost your loved one the waves of grief seem to get even further apart and much less strong. You always have time to pull yourself together and catch your breath in between the waves. Most of the time the waves hit at times when you don't expect them and you are taken by surprise but at this point you know it will not last forever as you felt in the past. You seem to have more good days than bad ones, and even start to think that maybe just maybe your life will be good again. But as the waves of the ocean are always coming you know that your grief has not come to an end, you are just learning to cope with it in a much better way.

There will come a day when you look back and think wow I have not been taken down by a wave in a long time. (I personally am not at this stage yet however I know it will come one day) The waves no longer knock you down each time they come and they come less and less. At times you can even stand while the waves comes upon you which makes catching your breath that much easier. You have far more good days than bad and start to live out the life in which God created you for, the life that you thought would never be good again. At this point you might only cry once a year when the anniversary of your loved ones departure from this earth comes around again.

You see the waves of the ocean are a great analogy for the grief process, they never stop and God is in full control of the waves. Even though grief gets easier it will never go away fully. You will always love the person you lost and there will always be a place in your heart for that person therefore the grief will not go away it will just get less and less as the waves in the ocean clam when God clams them. Time does not heal your wounds, time just makes it easier to not think about that awful day ever time you close your eyes. Nothing here on earth will every heal any of your wounds, it is ONLY God who can and will heal your wounds if you let Him. God will pick up the pieces of your heart and put them back together in His time, but He will never force that healing onto anyone. You have to be a willing participate in this healing. God is right there holding out His hand asking you to reach out to Him and let Him be in control of your life. He wants to hold you through this awful pain but you have to seek Him.

So the choice is...stay in your pain, turn to a person here on earth that will one day leave you also, turn to chemicals to help you cope with the pain...turn away from God. OR turn to God and let Him, the healer of all healers, put your heart back together. Will there still be scars on your heart from where it was put back together...yes. But those scars will give you the unique ability to help others through the pain when their heart is broken also. How beautiful is that!!

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