Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Grief is not about "me"

I have been moping around all day. I have tried not to let this be apparent, but I arrived at work today in tears and left in tears. Nothing happened. I am just sad.

Whenever this happens, I question, "Am I depressed?" Depression runs in my family. The answer? Nope. Not depressed. Just sad. A little too close to tears. A feeing that I need to spend time alone and with God. Feeling somewhat contemplative, somewhat pensive...somewhat....ive...apparently.

Then I realized...I miss my Dad. He passed away 11 years ago as of January 3rd, and always, this time of year I'm a little out of sorts. I remember Dad all year, but somehow, at this time of year, around the anniversary of his death, the grief renews a little.

I feel that edge biting into me, reminding me of a person who is no longer with us.

I remember getting the news and the odd feeling of emptiness and the need to take care of business. I remember moving my stuff down to campus as I had just returned from study abroad and because of the funeral, I would be starting late. I remember calling the Registrar's office to let them know of the death in the family delaying my start, but assuring them I would still be there that semester.

Dad's life ended...mine went on. And the need to go through this process, to set up for my ongoing life, was in part a form of denial for me.

"...if I pretend that all is well, then Dad will be ok and I'll get to tell him about my trip..."

My parents divorced when I was 8 and for only a little while we lived in the same state. Growing up was about weekends with Dad, until Grandpa died...then Dad moved out of state.

I had not seen my Dad for about 3 1/2 years- the last time I saw him was the day of my high school graduation.

I will never forget the funeral or our final goodbye. And ever since that time, tears come more easily to me. I have suffered this wound, and whenever I meet someone with the same wound, I am better able to empathize with them. Their pain is also my pain, to a different degree.

And as much as this grief hurts, as much as this wound seems to "bleed", I rejoice, because I can *feel* this. I know that I still grieve because I loved. We do not mourn those we did not love.

Grief is a testament to love, and as such, it is not about "us". It is about love. It is about God. It is about the fact that a life existed on this earth and that life was valuable...and so there was love.

Sometimes I want so badly to call up "dear old Dad" and tell him about my day, about my customers, about my achievements and my asipirations. I want to hear him laugh, I want to hear him joke, and I really do want to hear his praise.

But I don't, because there is no one to call. So I direct this to Heaven, and I pray for the repose of Dad's soul.

Did you notice all the "I want" in reference to grief? Doesn't grief seem selfish?

But it's not...because it's about the person who is missed. It's about the person who had such an effect on others on earth that the end of their life left a hole somewhere.

Now, I don't want to read a bunch of condolences. Dad died 10 years ago, and no, I'll never be "over it" until I'm dead. I loved my Dad, and I still love my Dad because God made him with an immortal soul. No matter where his soul resides, I love him, just as you love those of your own beloved who have gone before you.

Do not come to me expressing your sorrow for my loss. My sorrow is my own and it is between only God and I and Dad and I. Rather than express sorrow, express joy for the gift of life in everyone around you.

Consider those who are close to you and especially those who are estranged. Reconcile if you can, and if you can't, then spend extra time in prayer for them and for yourself.

Give Thanks to God for those in your life, and make sure the time you have with them is valuable. Generate memories.

Our own lives are fleeting. Sure, we grieve for our losses, but we also grieve because we cannot be where the dead have gone.

Celebrate life at all stages, and as you do so, realize that you are celebrating God.

Remember that grief is not about you....when you are grieved, remember the love...and be comforted.

God bless you all!


Anonymous said...

I sympathize with you, I lost my brother now almost 10 years ago (he was born Christmas eve) and my father now 5 years and it never gets easier, just different, someone once told me it is like a wound that does scab over and at times something reminds you and it gets torn off and open and bloody then heals till the next time

All we can do is pray for their souls and know that we to will be with them. Another thing that I do find troubling today is the premise that the church is teaching that anyone, even those that dont belive in Christ can get to heaven, and that is just not true as scripture and pre council teachings have illustrated. This among other liberalized teachings is one of the reasons I went back and got recatechised in the Baltimore Catechism as well as our children, as we wanted to learn the true teachings of the church before ecumenism and the changes

So what we need to do is continue every day to pray for their souls, as they are in a better place and in the event they are in pergatory for their safe passage on to heaven, where hopefully, if we are deemed worthy, will meet up with them

God bless you

Kei said...

Thank you for the mental reminder.

I have been crying during the past, when my own grandfather passed away whilst my childhood, and from then on did I realise the aspect of death. I spent so much time with him, and he seemed to die without even a goodbye. He suffered death under a sudden heat stroke while vacationing in the Philippines.

Even then, my uncle also died a few years later from cancer.

But I realise, death is an inevitability, and it will happen eventually, whether now or in the future.

"For it is thou, O Lord, that hast power of life and death, and leadest down to the gates of death, and bringest back again:" Wisdom 16:13

"Man's days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish.
For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be: and he shall know his place no more."
Psalm 102(103):15-16

"Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things are subject to vanity.
And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into earth they return together."
Ecclesiastes 3:19-20

"Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord."
Job 1:21

"For dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."
Genesis 3:19b

When the Lord takes us away, we only have hope in our faith that God will deliver us from Hell, and lead us into eternal salvation. And because it is an inevitability, we appreciate that we ourselves are still here to serve. I believe that we will not die until we are finally finished with what God's will for us is on earth.

Everything has the breath of God within it, especially in his special creation of mankind. He is merely taking back that which is His, to spend in eternity praising His Holy name and becoming prayer warriors for us on earth. They become powerful intercessors, and we have faith in that power which Christ gave to us.

May the souls of the departed rest in peace.


In pax Christi,