Tag Archives: grief

Choosing Good and Grief

Going through something horrific brings out the good or the bad. We either get stuck in everything is bad. Or we choose to see grace and good in our lives in spite of what we are experiencing. There is always reason to see both. And sometimes people not sharing the experience can’t see any reason for good, but that is because they aren’t inside it. They don’t see what Ruach (Holy Spirit) is showing you. It’s as if you have new eyes.

The past week in California was horrendous, and especially so for people who lost their children and homes (in my area). Further north people lost not only homes but people, community and their city. It is traumatic and disorienting. And feels like a repeat of last year. Hundreds of homes a half hour away were lost then too.

Horrific happenings are going to happen to everyone. (I heard on the news yesterday that more people lost their lives in the blizzard back east than lost their lives in our fire!) Evil is going to be given more and more power so we are all given clear choices. How will you relate? How will you deal with evil?

That can be scary if you are a person who believes the negative. If you see the bad before the good. Such is my particular personality and I’m afraid I fostered it. Trying to turn it around takes lots of thought and choices.

First it takes seeing and admitting it. I can tell you, if you are like me and have allowed yourself to lean that way, you are going to need help undoing it. The good news is God is ready. He’s been waiting to help you change to seeing the good in your life. Don’t be ashamed that you need help. Be grateful it is readily available.

No matter how bad things are, you can ask God to give you eyes to see it as He does. There is always something good. And seeing that one thing lifts you up into seeing another good thing. After practicing for years it gets easier to see everything differently. It is a choice. It is looking at things through God’s eyes.

And it’s not all good. But there is always something good that can come from it. Something good in it. Or at least the seeds of good that faith will cause to sprout. You may not even be able to imagine any good in the beginning–that’s where faith takes hold. You choose to believe in God’s goodness. Then in His goodness towards you (I like to say Their goodness because there are Three mighty ones who fill this good-God position.) You are never alone if you latch on to this belief and choose it. You aren’t alone anyway, because He (They) are always there hoping you choose Them.

As you’ve read here before, this is the most important part of life. We live in a war zone. It’s not safe to live here unless you make good choices–choices for good–choices for God. If you do that you are safe no matter what happens. It may look like He has (They have) abandoned you, but they never will. They are just letting you have experiences that show you what you need–the next choice to make. As Graham Cook says, the site of your next miracle! And if you don’t know what the next choice is, choose Them. God and goodness are always the right choice.

A powerful example was aired by the media this past week. They showed a mom and her kids going through the rubble of their burned home. There wasn’t even a structure left. They were finding little things that they were delighted to find. The reporter asked, how they could be so positive, and she said, “It was a great home. There was a lot of love here, but its just a house. The memories and love are still here.”

That is choosing love–choosing God. It doesn’t focus on loss or self-pity; it doesn’t blame. It looks for good. Grief is real and very necessary to do, if you don’t it will get you later, but don’t get stuck in blaming or negativity there. Good grief processing feels it and goes through the sadness for sometimes a month, sometimes a year, or five years for children, then turns toward hope, believing in good, finding God is there for you. He (They) can bring good out of anything, but not without our permission.

Grief is important to honor for yourself and others, understanding that it is different for everyone. But holding onto anger will make you bitter and keep you from moving forward. It really is healthy to let go. And please know that your loved one who is gone wouldn’t want you to go on mourning or being angry–they would want you to make something good out of it. Also know that grief comes in waves for years. Let it be ok, accept it, feel it, ride the wave, and then go back to living in the present. Graciousness is there for you.

My clients tell me that the best strategy I’ve given them is managing grief. Give yourself an hour or two to just grieve every day and later every week. Look at pictures listen to the music, work it. Then put it on the shelf and live your life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Perspective on Honoring Grief

The picture I posted on Facebook yesterday made it real that my beautiful niece is dying, and brought tears to my eyes. It’s a touching picture just because it’s so beautiful, but when you find out she is on hospice, and her brother is saying good-by before going home, it’s heart-breaking. It haunted me yesterday, was before me continually on the screen in my mind. Not that I haven’t thought and prayed about her death thousands of times in the past five years that she’s been fighting cancer, but now it’s here. 

The love in the picture grabs you. And you realize–as I did a few years ago with my mother’s death–her pain is almost over, it’s for us who are left that the pain intensifies. Their pain is over forever. No more suffering. Ours begins again.

Grief is hard. We hate it.

But if we shut it down, it gets us other ways: It keeps us from moving forward in life. Deposits our anger on other people–usually turbo charged. Gets us stuck in regret or self-loathing. Makes us angry and distancing with God. Tweaks truly loving again so we won’t get hurt. Ferments legitimate anger into rage or depression. And somatizes into physical pain and illness. Nothing anyone would choose.

Grief is important to do. What makes it so hard? We miss them. We feel the loss of love-energy. There is a big hole in our life. We regret lost opportunities. (Regret makes grieving really hard.) And we just plain don’t like to cry or feel the pain.

We hate sadness and pain! But when you need it, when there is that huge hole, that energy drop from love lost, grieving actually feels good. Giving yourself to the sadness feels right. It’s congruent. It is a relief to allow yourself to fall apart and give in to the grief. And when you do that it doesn’t last as long. Let yourself drop out and let go for a time. Honor the person with it. Don’t be afraid it will last forever. It won’t unless you deny it and refuse to do it.

I worked for a man from India years ago, and he told me that there they “give themselves to the grief” for 30 days. They don’t do anything but grieve, and after that you are ready to pick up life again.

I find that another perspective on grief helps me.

Even though Rocky desperately wants to live, (she’s 44, and at least isn’t leaving children) and has consistently claimed and believed Jesus would heal her,  her next conscious thought after “going to sleep” (that is what Jesus called death) will be seeing Jesus coming.* What could be better than that? (Unless it would be having Him hold you.)

She is one second away from seeing Him when she gives in to death. And she gets to miss all the evil that happens here, all the suffering, pain, illness, struggle–even the pain of others you wish you could choose for, but you can’t. You have to watch them struggle to grow up and learn for themselves.

I was sitting with Jesus the other day, but I couldn’t see Him, and I found myself jealous of her closeness to that experience. That isn’t the first time.

One particularly painful period in my life, I remember wishing I could have traded places with my little brother who was killed in a car accident at 22. I didn’t know yet then how valuable pain is for growth and definition. It’s important in a world where good and evil are all mixed up together.  And I don’t even believe we go straight to heaven at death! But does it matter if you don’t know? For you, it happens the next second, so it’s the same thing.

I know this brings up questions–two off the top: why didn’t Jesus heal her? And why don’t we go straight to heaven when almost everyone says and believes that?  I’ll save those for next time.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized