Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Little Bits of Grief - Meyer

I was reading a book today and in the story, a bride unexpectedly has her father show up for her wedding day – a father who had been absent for most of her childhood and young adult years. I suddenly found myself crying. It took me only a moment to realize that I was grieving, for the first time ever, for the absence of my father at my wedding. At the time (31 years ago), I’d put on a brave front, grateful to my brother for walking me down the aisle, and head-over-heels in love with my husband-to-be.

I’ve known for a long time now that grief is a journey, one that does not completely end until our Heavenly Father wraps his loving arms around us and welcomes us Home.

It still surprises me though – these times when there are little bits of grief for something that happened decades ago.

I very clearly remember another incident that happened a few years back. I was at a Write! Canada conference and had opted to stay in a dormitory-style room rather than the more expensive single or double rooms. There were maybe ten or so other ladies in the room. There was some friendly chatter as each of us prepared for bed then when everyone was ready, one person turned out the lights in the room. In the ensuing silence, I came to the shocking realization that everyone else around me was just closing their eyes and going to sleep. No tossing and turning. No using a small, discreet flashlight to read. No lying awake for hours then restlessly getting up for a drink or to go to the bathroom. These people just went to sleep!

In that moment, I realized that I was different – not unique, I know – but different from the norm. And in that moment, I grieved for what I had lost… for what had been taken away from me as a young child. As far back as I can remember, I have loathed those long, long hours of nighttime when I knew I needed to sleep but couldn’t do it. If I didn’t have any commitments the next morning, I’d stay up all night working and fall asleep when it was finally daylight. I loved working nightshift. The night terrors ended when I was in my late thirties (but that’s another story for another time) and as I have traveled far on my healing journey, I’m getting better and better at falling asleep and staying asleep for most of the night.

One of the big things that helped me on this healing journey was taking that moment (at the Write! Canada conference) to grieve my loss. This moment of grieving helped me to finally accept the loss. Previously, my insomnia had been compounded by frustration, guilt and confusion. With acceptance came peace – and half the battle was won right there!

The healing journey is one of transformation – of being made more like Jesus. As the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

May the Lord bless each of you as you continue on your own personal healing journey.


Author of "the Group" series of seven young people on healing journey. Jasmine (winner of Romance book of the year award from The Canadian Christian Writing Awards), Lewis and Joshua. Published by Word Alive Press and available in Canadian bookstores and on Amazon in paperback or ebook version.


Peter Black said...

Thank you Dorene for your personal and candied reflections. The analogy of life as a journey is widely employed nowadays, isn't it? I reckon that it's because it is true. My thought is also that within life's journey as a whole there are many journeys, such as the path or voyage through grief to healing, even as you have shared.

Peter Black said...

Hmm. Typo caught too late. Not "candied" but should be "candid." (Inadvertent sugar-coating, eh?) :)

Anonymous said...

that's a really good article, thank you.

c van gorkom said...

Yes, we all need healing. Yes, He is manifesting the image of His Son within us. Yes, He leads us on a journey tailor-made to complete all that He has begun.
Yes, in Him we share, to Him we are thankful and to Him we owe all that is good in who we are.
Rich and poor, we all meet humbly at the same table and partake of the same food.
Your blog has touched a common chord and we pray for each other.

storygal said...

Peter, I chuckled at that candied moment which surely candid.

Doreen, I'm sure you will bless many people with your candid comments, to help them know they are not alone.

storygal said...

"Which surely meant candid" is what I meant. ;)

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