Grief is a very interesting emotion.
The aspiring psychologist in me compartmentalizes to step back and view grief from an intellectual perspective. I did this the night my grandmother passed away. What’s interesting about it is compartmentalization in itself was my initial grief. The shock of her death had not hit me.
Thus, I was able to sing something she would sing prior to her bringing the message at church. I shed a few tears here and there, but I didn’t grieve as expected even though I was grieving. When my Aunt Jo died, I was angry. Not with God, but I began to ask myself if I prayed enough. Then the dreaded question of why comes about. Never ask yourself why when someone dies. The answer to that question is deals with your faith in God. If you are asking why then you’re doubting His decision. So, I learned not to allow the devil to make me angry when my grandmother passed. Instead, I almost did the next best (not really) thing.
I bottled it up.
That’s almost worse than anger. Imagine a test tube of different chemicals being added together. One wrong element added, and there’s an explosion. That’s what it’s like to bottle up emotions. Something will trigger that grief (i.e. a look, song, picture) and you explode into an emotional frenzy at the worst time possible. Don’t bottle your feelings.So, I was consciously aware to not be angry, and to let my emotions out. I just couldn’t do it. Even at the family viewing, I didn’t have that good ole wailing cry. I still shed tears here and there. However, I was floating through that time period.
Until her public viewing.
I was at the church, and talking to different people who came to pay their respects. My mom was running around making sure people were comforted. That was her way of compartmentalizing. She had to set up and execute the events for the services. Can you imagine doing that for your parent? Anyways, I walked past my grandmother’s casket and caught a glimpse of the flowers that were lying on top.
And it all came crashing down.
I don’t know what it was about seeing the flowers, but I broke like good china on a hardwood floor. I ran to the office and crumpled in a heap of sadness and misery. Even though that’s my grandmother, I still couldn’t let people see me cry in that manner. That was my wailing cry grieving moment. What’s funny is it only lasted about one or two minutes. Then, I did what she taught me to do.
Get up, and keep moving.
Grief is wild like that. It hits you at the most unexpected time. Work. The gym (this one happened to me). Driving down the street. It’s all fair game. Oh, but in that grieving moment, the peace and comfort of God restores, refreshes, and keeps you. If you let Him do it.
Today, I miss my grandmother like nobody’s business. I don’t speak about it too much, but it’s there. Like I said earlier, something will trigger a memory of her. It may cause me to laugh or cry, but I can rest knowing she’s alright. She’ll always be loved and missed. I can move forward knowing God has it all under control.
Give Him your grieving heart. He’ll make it alright.
[Image Credit Half Full and Overflowing]