Good Grief. Don’t Change the Channel.

Good grief. Don't change the channel.

A wise woman once told me that the higher purpose of grief is to recognize our longing for profound love.

Picture this. You’re watching your favorite television show – maybe one of the final episodes for the season – and you lose the signal. What do you do?

a.) Curse the station.
b.) Hit mute and stare in disbelief at the static, hoping the signal will reset on its own.
c.) Dive across the room, grab the tin-foiled rabbit ears, and strike a statue of liberty pose.
d.) Get up and do something else.
e.) All of the above, not necessarily in that order and possibly on rotation.

When someone you love dies, you lose their signal and, after the shock, sadness sets in. Somewhere beyond the cursing, muting and staring you start feeling the gravitational pull of grief. This is when societal intimation encourages you to “get up and do something else.” After all, if you get sucked in too deeply, you might crash. Better to stay busy while the gravity field weakens.

Except this gravity doesn’t weaken without the grace of a higher purpose.

Everyone is a channel for God – if you’re willing to listen to everyone. But you’re not. And you can’t. God knows that, so your significant channel signals are pre-set for what you need. Read more

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When grief answers first … wait.

When Grief Answers First

When grief answers first, it isn’t pretty. And, sometimes, it’s raucous and self-involved. At least that’s my experience with it. Maybe I am more messy than most – though I suspect not. I suspect that what I am giving voice to here will not seem strange – or sacrilegious to the preciousness of life – if you have spent intimate time with grief.

Singular grief sucks. Multiple grief sucks. Overlapping grief sucks. I’ve done them all. When that gut-punch, double over, drop-to-your-knees moment hits, it is hard to imagine that there is anything beyond the pain.

When I found out I had breast cancer – just months after Ray took his last breath – grief spoke first. “Well, here’s your ticket out of all this pain. Your work here is done. It’s been a good run.”

When losing someone or something you love becomes a reality, it throws off the order. Ray’s run with a cancer that ended in death turned my days – and my morning prayer time – upside down. The pain felt in his absence left me with a desire for connection at any cost. Even if it meant I spoke to Ray first – and God second. Something I never did while he was alive.

My healing hierarchy fell out of balance while cancer cells feasted on estrogen without supervision – or should I say without “super vision.” When the small lump grew and ate away breast mass, I witnessed what the physical demonstration of grief must look like in a part of my body designed to nurture life as well as receive pleasure. Read more

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