Another day, another coffee date. I don’t know about you but I’m feeling pretty blessed on this end.
Today I want to cluster some of the grief-specific student questions and put them into one post so that those who need them can access them easily. I know that this topic was peppered throughout the other questions, but I want to dig into this specifically.
“I would ask her what the hardest thing for her was through the accident of her sister and the loss of her parents, and how did she make it through? I know the answer is ultimately God, but there are everyday moments in which the strength seems to deplete … and that is where I want to hear what she has to say”
The hardest thing for me about death is the unwavering permanence of it. There is no bargaining that will change it, no medical staff that can un-do it. We cannot go back in time and save those we have lost, they we are left with a brand new life, with a huge gaping hole.
I can tell you some of the little things that I did to make it through: I was worried about forgetting things, so I wrote down memories and collected pictures and items that were very important to me in my relationship with my parents.
I took a lot of baths because the tub was the only place where I was still and alone with my deep and painful thoughts, naked before God in every way.
After about a week I went back to a modified version of my usual routine whether it was work, school or my family schedule. I found that it wasn’t helpful to sit and dwell on things, that the processing and healing would come in the midst of daily living. When it did I stopped and gave it priority and I was blessed by others who gave me space for this.
I went to counseling, every time, because I wanted to be sure that I was moving through each season with as much mental health as I could muster.
I can sum it up by imploring you to be intentional about grieving. Telling your story in trusted settings be open about your aching. There is no quick fix, there will always be an empty chair, but there is a better place ahead, when the wound becomes a scar and the breathing comes easier. Continue reading