Friday, August 05, 2011

thoughts on grieving

It's odd to me how grief work is done. No two grieving the same, like the snowflakes and grass blades... yet certain themes running deep within each of our journeys.
Sometimes grief seems like a familiar friend dropping by unannounced... never really certain how long she may stay; whether fleetingly passing through like a cloud blown over the face of the sun, or setting in like the darkness enveloping you with throbbing of heart and sobbing of flesh and spirit.
When I expect it, like on an anniversary of loss, often it is easier than I think it will be. Other times it seems like I'm caught unawares and it is harder than I am prepared for or think it should be.

It was that way in 2006. I was having Aliyah... one year after having a missed miscarriage, followed by a D&C that for me its self caused grief. That anniversary I had not prepared for... I held my sweet Punkin Pie in my arms and wept for the little one I only ever got to hold in my heart. All the while conscious stricken for mourning while in this time of joy. She was not a replacement in my mind, but I did wonder at myself for hurting so deeply that day while wrapping this little blessing I was holding. Why was it so hard that day?

It is now 6 years after that baby left us, though I don't know exactly when it happened, it was in August. The bringing up of the medical issues I thought I had finally gotten through with has only brought a fresh hurt to the surface and numerous questions.
2005, after finding out on a Monday that we had lost our little one, I went that week to a Neurologist (the very one my MD wants me to see now) to have an evaluation of my case history for DMV purposes. He wasn't a bad Dr or rude, but I simply didn't care and it jaded my opinion of him I think.
At that point in my grief, nothing mattered.
No driver's license? Who cares?
I don't have my baby any more.
But I left it all unsaid and let him think whatever of my disconnect he wanted.

Now just considering going back there has dug up things and feelings I didn't realize were still there. And grief seems to linger, close enough to be felt, but in the shadows of daily life.
Do I want to avoid going back because of the hurts it brings?
Do I hide behind the excuses that I don't think there's anything new to find? or why waste the money?
What is my motivation?

Joy sometimes seems elusive when Grief is hanging around, but perhaps that is because we have tried to rename Happiness as Joy; and Happy doesn't play well with Grief. But Joy can be there in all circumstances, as long as we cling to her twin Hope that is. We sometimes let go of Hope, but it doesn't mean Hope is gone, just that we are refusing to choose her companionship.

For now I am choosing, or trying to choose, to embrace Hope and seek out Joy whenever that shade Grief stops by. I can grieve and even cry, yet remain hopeful that my Joy cannot be taken and in the end good will be brought out of all.

How do you cope with grief work in your life?
Are you able to find joy in all circumstances?


Beth said...

Hello. I was reading your daybook post and your thoughts on writing. Perhaps those things which are cathartic are not all bad. Sometimes we learn most in company with others, and find comfort there as well. I don't know you, but I've walked a bit of that same road and found comfort in Angie Smith's book, I Will Carry You. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Monica said...

Thank you Beth for stopping by and for your caring comment. :)
I have not heard of I Will Carry You, but have read a few good books on grief. I will take a look into that book too and see if the budget will squeeze it in sometime soon. :)
Recently I got In Faithfulness He Afflicted Me by Lynnette Craft ( and I enjoyed crying my way through that one.
I'm going to try to leave a comment on your blog too, but blogger doesn't always let me, so I will hope you get to see this comment and my thanks. :)

Lynnette Kraft said...

Grief is definitely an odd thing. It has it's common threads in all and yes, has it's unique ones too.

You know, I've also compared joy and happiness (may have even done that in my first book), but I wonder why we do that? I think of the scripture, "Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God."

I have gone to the concordance and found that joy usually means "gladness" and happy usually means "blessed"which is sort of the opposite of what you hear so many teach on this. Go take a look and let me know what you think.

I totally agree that JOY might be disguised for a time during grief, but for Christians, it never truly goes away because of the hope that gladdens our souls!

Thanks for sharing!

Monica said...

Hi Lynnette,
Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

I was thinking of "happy" as defined in our culture and as an emotion that (like love) has been devalued by it's current linguistic usages. I was not really considering where it is used in the Bible (to my fault) and how it would be compared there to Joy.

I looked up in my concordances happy and joy and did find the word used as happy or happier was also translated as blessed, where joy was rejoicing or gladness. It is something I have heard teaching on and believed that joy is what we should seek, not happiness.

Perhaps it is with the English translation we have issue. :) English is lacking in descriptions like Latin and Greek have, or like the Eskimo's with their words for snow! :)
Thank you for your thought provoking comment, and for standing up for happy :)