Grief is different than I expected. I am not quite sure what I expected, but it is different. I guess I expected it to be more acute, with more uncontrollable sobbing in the beginning and then, like an earthquake with it’s after-shocks, ever lessening. I did not expect that I would sit through my classes more or less numb the week that Grandpa died. I did not expect that now, almost 6 months later, I would find myself on the verge of breaking down completely in the middle of class, seriously contemplating walking out of the class.

I guess I cannot actually say I feel worse now than I did then. . .just different. I can’t even tell you why I cry; I have no discernible statement behind it. I just do. I could make excuses—well, it was at this point last semester that he died, and besides we were in the processes of learning what left hemisphere brain damage was, and it was basically a long list that accurately described many of his symptoms—but the fact is, I plain old don’t like to cry, and try rather hard not to.

I expected that I would cry more, especially in the beginning. I expected, too, that crying would make me feel worse. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to talk about. And I didn’t expect that both crying about it and talking about it would actually make me feel better. I didn’t expect that crying would be part of the healing process, not part of the hurting process.

I expected that I would want to write about it; that writing about it would be part of the way I processed it. That I would be writing reams and reams of Grandpa posts until everyone was so thoroughly sick of it they wouldn’t be bothered to read them. I was wrong. I don’t even want to think about it, never mind write about it.

I thought I was going to write more about it tonight, but I was wrong about that, too.

Oh, sweet home of love and peace
Where pilgrims tired and troubled rest
Into the hope of Zion lean
Where in Jesus’ arms we will fall at last

Oh, lift up your head
For the day is near
And we have no abiding city here. . .

A city filled with hope and light
God the builder and the architect
When our faith is turned to sight
Oh, I cannot imagine it

Oh, lift up your head
For the day is near
And we have no abiding city here. . .

Sandra McCracken, No Abiding City

One Response to Grief

  1. I think I am still grieving.

    But I don’t understand it.

    These are dark waters for me, and deep.

    All the things you imagined and all of the things you didn’t imagine–

    I imagined them all.

    And some of them, true, are part of my grieving.

    But if the place of our truest grief surprises us–

    (does it?)

    If it is a struggle–

    It is still dim to me.

    I have not yet been fully surprised, but I do not yet fully know.

    Something about letting go.

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