Owning our stories of heartbreak is a tremendous challenge when we live in a culture that tells us to deny our grief. Brené Brown.
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief. Psalm 31
One day I asked my Grandma B., “How long did it take you to get over Uncle Donnie’s death?”
I was about 15 and unaware of how grief works. I had no idea that a mother will never “get over” the death of her son. Uncle Donnie was killed in Vietnam when he was 19 years old. There is a photo in the family album of my grandparents standing in their living room with the Marine who presented them the purple heart medal. My grandpa and grandma posed for the photo, but their gaze is not at the camera. They look lifeless.
Looking back on my own life, I have endured one Great Grief so far—my parents divorce. Only a week ago, I went out of my way to drive past our little family home in north Boulder. Every time I drive through Boulder, a feeling washes over me. It is some type of longing for home—a longing for the life I loved and lost in that divorce. I love my life now and both of my parents, and the new lives we created are beautiful. Yet the longing remains.
In Rising Strong, Brené Brown describes the three most foundational elements of grief that emerged from her studies: loss, longing, and feeling lost.
Since we live in a culture that has no patience for grief, and since rumbling with grief is crucial to the rising strong process… Please give yourself the gift of lingering over the section on grief in Chapter 7. I encourage you to read the section and reflect on your own feelings of loss, longing and feeling lost. Try something new: indulge your memories. Then Read all of Psalm 31. Like the psalmist did, talk it out with God verbally or in writing.
If you are walking with a long-lasting and ‘complicated grief’, please go the appendix and read the notes on complicated grief. If you would like to talk to a pastor or trained volunteer, please contact us at Crossroads Church. Call 970-203-9201, and ask for Perry. We have skilled, trustworthy people who can walk with you in your grief for as long as you like.
LORD God, be merciful to me as I rumble with my grief.