The strangeness of grief

Hey all,

So lest my last post go unexplained, I want to talk about something that I sort of wish I had captured in the midst and yet only feel ready to talk about now.

Now, I am exceedingly blessed to have lived my entire life with almost no reason for grief. I’ve had pets die or given away and I lost a grandma I wasn’t terribly close to in third grade, but other than that, I have never lost anyone super close to me with a singular event.

So, that being said, when I recently found myself in a position where I felt it was time for various reasons for me to leave my dance studio, I can honestly say that losing the relationships as they currently stood with the people I love there was really my first great encounter with grief. I know that sounds a bit dumb, that the fact I no longer dance as a student there doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with them and just have a different (and likely even better) kind of relationship with them, but in the midst, it honestly felt like I was losing them all forever, as if I was stripping myself of a giant fistful of people that I have come to absolutely cherish and who have had a huge, tangible and unchangeable effect on my life with nobody to blame but myself. Now even while I was dealing with this I knew that the above statement wasn’t true. I know I’m prone to feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t, for over-exaggeration and dramatics for things that aren’t a huge deal, but that doesn’t change the fact that it hurt in a way and to a depth I’ve never experienced before.

The weirdest thing about grief is its constancy. My experience lasted from about a few weeks before I left up to about a week before my last day, and in that time I felt absolutely heart broken in ways that when asked, as I often was, I couldn’t even put into words for sometimes hours if not days at a time. I knew I wasn’t really losing them forever, that my life was still exceedingly blessed, that God gave up way more than I ever have when he sent his son, that leaving was what I needed to do, yet even with all of that unquestionable knowledge I was just sad, for hours, for days. As someone who usually lands pretty high and level on the emotional scale, with most negative emotions working themselves out in short angsty blasts, a sustained sadness such as this was entirely strange. And sometimes it wasn’t sadness. Sometimes I was angry, frightened, empty, every one of them at the same time with no control of what or when I would feel. Several times I almost cried at work, often I cried at home. One day I remember sobbing in my car while I was driving, just absolutely, uncontrollably sobbing, like you’d read about in a book.

And I knew it was what I needed to do. I needed to grieve. As much as I didn’t like feeling emotional volatile, didn’t like feeling that well of sadness pressing up in my chest, or the exaggeration or the internal romantic (as in romanticism, not romance) drama run out of control, I also knew that it was important. I had to be honest that I was sad to lose that season in my life, to lose those relationships with no guarantee of a future. It was a difficult choice with huge repercussions, and as much as I wanted the pain to be over, I also knew I had to deal with it, to take the time to actually work through it.

Now, in that time, God was also exceedingly faithful and gracious with me, bringing people, opportunities and conversations that I really needed into my life at just the right times, and I was very lucky to reach the acceptance stage of my sadness before I left so I didn’t have to sob on everyone’s shoulders on my last day, but I wanted to be honest about what it was like so that if anyone else is grieving they know they aren’t alone in the experience and also because I want to be honest and share what my life is really like, even when it hurts. So, if you’re grieving, have had a similar (or different) experience and want to share, or have anything else to say, please, leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, love,

Abby

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Questions of faith

Do I have to?

Is there no other way?

What if I only did this a little?

Does it have to be so extreme?

How can you ask this of me?

What’s going to happen? Why? Why?

How can they understand?

How can you ask me to hurt them? What if I hurt them?

How can I explain this to them when they have no framework for understanding? How can I not hurt them if you are my reason?

Does any excuse I could come up with matter if you are my reason?

When will this hurt go away?

How can I run to you for comfort when you’re the one asking me to give them away?

Are you worth it?

Are you there?

Will I follow?

Are you real?

Do I have to be misunderstood? Could I be? Could I be hated?

Can I follow when it hurts?

Could I do anything else?

Where are we going next?