Hello ladies, it is a privilege to share here a little bit of my heart. I’d never claim to be an expert widow. We are all walking through foreign territory looking for hope as a widow. We are like the caterpillar whose brief respite in the cocoon is strengthening and transforming. One day, each of us, in our own time, will emerge from that dark place… a new creature… a beautiful butterfly. We’ll unfurl our unique wings and go places we’d never thought possible. The time in the grieving cocoon transforms us and gives us new skills. Every butterfly journeys at her own time. Not leaving behind grief, but wearing it as wings that lift her spirits out of darkness into new opportunities. I am not there yet, but I have been given hope and that’s what I want to share here with you.
Grief Breaths… Sigh….
It seems I have been breathing grief in and out. It doesn’t seem very life giving just now. Each day, the same routine, yet each day differs in its intensity. I am thankful for those who have listened to my heart, even when I seem a bit irrational or crazy. Tonight I took a deep breath of my grief and it seemed to stop life (my heart beat).
It is a strange thing this breathing in grief. I was looking at all these many months. How strange that seems like a thousand years and a few moments are one in the same. This ragged breathing in of grief creates a strange emotion that comes over me. It causes me to become deaf, blind and without a voice.
There are days all is pitch dark, like someone turned out the lights. And I grope my way through these days, hands outstretched and feet cautiously baby stepping, hoping not to trip or fall. Then there is silence. It muffles the screams inside me, suffocating the breath from me. This silence is so thick it is like I am under water with a crushing weight upon my chest. And my voice is simply gone, I cannot even ask for help, I am paralyzed. The breathing out of grief is all that escapes my lips. Sad, silent sighs, as I breathe in another breath of grief. And it all starts over again.
Somehow grief breaths are vital to life. There is not a moment I do not think of the sea all around me, with its unpredictable waves or its difficult mountains to climb. Though blinded so often, my minds eye still recalls joy in the memories before loss. Though deaf, I can have faith that I will one day hear my beloved One singing in my ears. And though, at times, with out a voice, I can still think.
So… I am leaning, I am accepting the beauty of transformation, even in the pain. And I know, someday I will see His glory, hear his trumpet and sing with joy. Breathing in the grief, accepting it is a part of me and one day I will see it make me more like my Creator.
Grieving Pains…. Sigh….
The idea that somehow, someday we will “move on,” that there is “no pain, no gain” and “what doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger” are highly misused. The implications of those comments are not fully understood by those have never lost someone they love. That being said, the pains of grief, do grow us. Certainly it takes great strength outside ourselves and yes, there is moving forward, but with much pain. There is no “moving on,” because to move on, would require forgetting and not acknowledging we loved deeply. A love as deep as the vows of marriage carry us and can never be broken by forgetting.
Grieving pains, take many forms. And though I am not too far into this journey, I have experienced several, certainly not exhausting all the very real steps this journey still has in store for me, I am sure. The reason I write here today is to share deeper the places I walk, not for sympathy, but to give others hope that they are not crazy in what they may be walking through and so that others might know what is inside a grieving heart and soul.
Before I go on sharing a very deep place in this journey, I need you to understand God’s hand is in my life. I know, who holds my hand and I believe I am under His watchful eye. He will sustain me through each step. Having God at the very core of my journey, doesn’t suddenly take away my grieving pains or erase the circumstances. It does, however, insure hope, peace and goodness are real in this fragile, broken world we temporarily live in.
Grieving pains look different for each grieving heart. I will never claim I know “just how you feel.” I pray my experiences might encourage and help you know you are not alone. God’s hand in mine, may I be faithful to His calling and be a light, though this vessel is merely made of clay.
The tremendous pain that stretches the skin I live in today, is hard to describe fully. I have experienced days when I couldn’t get out if bed. Days when the thoughts were darker than midnight and thicker then wildfire’s smoke. This darkness causes depression and anxiety, and as much as I love the Lord, all I could do was cry out for mercy. Groanings with no words, translated by the Holy Spirit and the Saviour of my heart. Grieving pains, look like slashes of guilt. Guilt in parenting and feeling that I am not doing everything, as I used to for them. Guilt in the way I am running my home, as it is definitely not the same around here as when my beloved one was here. There is guilt in the way I view and conduct my relationships, as lack of energy and deep sorrow make almost everything I do as hard as slogging through knee-high mud. I see the stretch marks where the effort to maintain some kind of new normal, was more than I could take. Grief pains look like gaping wounds, oozing sores and invisible marks only God knows about.
But, grieving pains also have beauty, bring growth, attract opportunities to share and cause an introvert to step out and find meaning beyond what is comfortable. And to share tears, though everything inside wants to remain stoic and emotionless. Beauty for ashes, yes, I have seen it. I have met more people on a journey similar to mine. New sisters. I have seen the depth of love in people that overwhelms and encourages me. This new beauty, inspires me and urges me to share with others. The ashes are still smoldering and cover me in a thick blanket, but I have hope in this beauty that lies underneath. Aw…. growth. I never thought I would be able to say I was growing. I thought my heart was dead, and that I’d just go on existing, but never truly living. To be honest, there are still days like that. But, by taking the step directly in front of me, I can look back and see I have taken steps forward. By God’s grace, I have grown in His love. There are areas I have been able to take steps that I never thought possible. God’s goodness is evident and if I can just look back now and then, I see growth.
Grieving pains…. oh how I miss my beloved one. It is excruciatingly painful, but God walks through that with me too. Without this intense pain, I would not know the strength and power and intense love of a Saviour, in a way that is both real and so very good. And I wouldn’t know how to lean. In the end, I am thankful for where the grieving pains have changed me, no, I am still not ok with the circumstances, but I am hopeful in spite of them that “I will see His goodness in the land of the living.”
These are exerpts taken from my Widows Manna blog…. in the earlier days of my widow’s journey. May God use them to encourage and give you hope. Big hugs and blessings to each of you reading here.