Dealing with grief can be a touchy subject especially in the midst of dealing with grief. I am writing one day into the loss of my Moma. Let me tell you where I am right now. As I type this i’m sitting up in my bed. I was trying to nap but every few minutes a new wave of emotion comes over me. It makes me breath hard and tears stream down my face. I miss my Moma already and my heart is not sure how to respond. So I got up to write this.
My Moma, her name was Annie. She was by birth my Grandmother and that is the last time you’ll see me refer to her as that. At 52 years old after raising 5 of her own took me in at the age of 3 months. I could write catalogs of books about her and what a special woman she was. Even now as I write about her in past tense (insert: I’m having that quickened breathing and tears) i’m struggling with using the term “was.”
The description that comes to mind when thinking about my feelings right now is, deep sadness. That heart ache that almost feels like my rib cage is crushing my lungs. I take many deep breaths, sighs I guess and then I’m fine. I can and do have normal feelings and it reminds me of the hope when the pain will be gone. Deep sadness is something we will all experience in some form or another. So I write.
I’ve noticed during this grief i’m on hyper awareness of every word and action done by others. There is something in me almost seeking out injustice and a wrong response to my lose. I am well aware that my Moma and I are loved more than anyone could ever express. My heart and my head tell me, “Doug you know better,” but something tries to offend me internally. I recognize and expose it as the Devil and move on to the next incident.
That leads me to this. I don’t think it’s our response to situations that necessarily leads to victory, but it’s our repeated responses to them. That can work in the positive and negative aspects. Negatively it’s not the responses that you have made incorrectly, it’s the unwillingness to correct those behaviors. As far as Positive, I know I have originally responded correctly to situations only to revisit them in my head and then act incorrectly.
We want to hurry through these stages of life. I’m not so sure we ought to do that. During these past few weeks God has spoken to me in life altering ways. A verse I preached on several weeks ago echoes in my heart. Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart;Try me, and know my thoughts;” God is working out things I’ve never wanted nor thought I suffered from, like pride, even writing that I so want to qualify it with the statement, “not that I’m prideful” and that tells me I am. Even in these times of “deep sadness” God uses the pain, the confusion, the suffering to bring Himself glory and I want Him glorified too!
You and I will go through these times and they might be for the exact same reason, the loss of a loved one. But if there were 100 people in the same boat they also might experience 100 different feelings. So i’m not going to waste the cliché “I know how you feel.” At some value I guess I do, but not being you puts me at a great disadvantage in saying that. No one knows how I feel, (insert breathless tears) I was raised by a Moma who chose me. She didn’t have to have me, I wasn’t forced on her by God, this woman at 52 said I want him. And for 37 years showed that she loved me and never once made me feel like, she felt, she had made a mistake.
My 7 year old Paxton just walked in to my room. He see’s my face and knows. He brought me comfort in walking up to me and just hugging me. He didn’t even say a word other than, “your welcome,” when I said, “thanks.” I keep worrying if my grammar or punctuation is right as I type this. Please know this is not a term paper but my heart and I’m not sure if it knows either grammar or punctuation.
Here is what is real, my pain. Here is what is fact, God’s love. Here is what I feel, God’s love in the midst of my real pain. What is it that has you in deep sadness? I can tell you from my deep sadness of the past, it does get better. I can tell you that it does so because I decided to allow it to. You can hold the pain in, deny the reality of it, act like your ok and hurt forever. Or you can express your hurt, deal with your pain, and act like you feel. I want to heal, so I write.
Tomorrow I will stand before my family and friends like I have done countless times before. Speaking over the life someone who has gone on wondering how can anyone with words ever adequately sum up a life, especially one well lived. This time will be different, this is MY MOMA. The lady I looked up to though she stood a full two feet shorter in stature. The lady who rocked me to sleep and calmed all my fears. This time I will stand and speak directly to my biggest fear growing up, losing her and tell the enemy, Satan, you are defeated even in her death!
What’s your deep sadness? Maybe you haven’t experienced it yet? Maybe you have. Be prepared for it. Don’t let it take you off guard. Make a plan! Mine? ….. well I write. The Lord is my Shepherd and ye though I walk through the shadow of death, I fear NO evil for thou art with me. How do people cope without Christ. He is not just a “make me feel better moral standard bearer” no, He’s God, He’s real and He is love. Love that never fails! That strengthens me right now as I type this. His love never fails. Not even in this test! Not even in the next test! I want to sing “I will survive” right now, but I wont.. that made me smile.
You know what else makes me smile. You! You who have text, emailed, your Inboxes and calls. And on that note, to those who have called. I appreciate it, I just can’t talk well yet through my tears. The voicemails make me smile though. We have food coming, we’ve had food brought. I love food. : )
Tomorrow I will have many of you standing there, sitting there and just being there and it will help my heart more than you know. (insert tears, but not the quick breath) I’m getting better see. I really wrote all this for me to get it out of my head, I’m only sharing this with you in hopes that you can understand the deep sadness you may have been through, going through or will experience. Waves upon waves of injected thoughts have come over me in the past few days and many more will be submitted to my mind to process. Here’s what I will do. I will take every thought captive. I will not allow every thought to shape my response, neither now or later.
If you’ve read this far…. Well, bless you and thanks for listening. To write any more would be to say more than is on my heart. And remember this is not a term paper but a heart paper.
2 Corinthians 10:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.