triste ambulant – day 24

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“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4

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Life doesn’t let up, does it?  That’s one thing I have learned in the past few months – no one and nothing slows down to let the wounded take some healing time.

  • A good friend was in a fairly serious car accident Fri night.  Everyone is ok but pretty banged up.  Car is totaled.
  • The mother of a good friend died a few days ago.  It had been somewhat expected but death is never welcome.  Grieving and mourning now begins.
  • Received a letter today for Regina advising that she needs to be taking Coumadin – “our records indicate that you may benefit significantly by taking this medication.”
  • A good friend – who I have depended on for many years – finally was picked up for a new job by another organization at a different location.  She will be leaving in two weeks.  Good for her, of course, but what now?
  • Yet another co-worker – who I also have depended on for about 15 years – was offered a tentative position at another agency.  He will be leaving.  Good for him, too, but this will change how we do things in the coming months.
  • Our matriarch here fell and broke her hip late last week.  She convulsed while doctors were attempting to get her stabilized.  Fortunately, she was able to be settled down later by doctors and was able to get her new hip.  She was transferred to a rehab hospital Fri.  Many long days and months ahead for her, sadly.  (And she is very concerned about Abby, her precious little black dog.)
  • What do I believe?  How come they are mad at me?  How come no one feels my hurt?  I disagree with you.  Why do they talk about me?  What are they thinking about me?  Stay out of my business.  I’m going to do this on my own by myself, if need be.  You cheated me.  You took away what was important to me and it’s your fault.  You should be ashamed of what you did.  Well, they hurt me, too.  I’m leaving…
  • Flu and sickness is rampant.  Several co-workers have been out for days.  Nick and Lilly have both been struck down with severe tummy aches and yechy sickness.      
You get what I am saying, of course.  The same, no doubt, is what you deal with.  Of course, the sunny-side types will advise that we need to be thankful, appreciate what is good, feel blessed for what is going on that is positive around us, turn lemons into lemonade, and generally attempt to pull through with a smile.  Thanks.  I think strategically, this is good advice.  But tactically, when something hurts – it hurts!  This has been my experience.  

No matter how much ‘feel good’ syrup is given and no matter what the long-term prognosis is – “It will get better in time” – the immediate hurt is sharp and painful.  It’s like the few moments of cringing pain after accidentally whacking your finger with a hammer – it hurts really bad.  Yes, it goes away but for a few minutes it is good to be able to sit, hold your finger really tight, cry a few tears, and feel bad for yourself.  

I really, really think that long-term healing can come only to those who are willing and able and who give themselves permission to feel the cutting sharpness of loss in the short-term.  Ironically, to properly grieve takes – I believe – discipline, courage, and desire.  Grief should not be brought on exclusively by fear and desperation for self but, rather, by the realization that someone or something very special has been lost.  It is easy to turn grief into chronic selfishness instead of intentional selflessness – it becomes all about me instead of being about the one or thing I’ve lost.  

And how can we learn and prepare to grieve?

1. Talk about it – lots!
2. Prepare for it.
3. Feel it.
4. Make time for it.
5. Embrace it when it comes.
6. Take it like healing medicine.
7. Prioritize it over other “noise” in life.
8. Give yourself permission to grieve.
9. Don’t be ashamed.
10. Don’t rush it.
11. See grief not as an end but as a beginning.
12. Pray through it and about it.
13. Don’t rely on “feel good” words too much – this is going to hurt!
14. Find others who can empathize.
15. Journal.
16. Read about grief and grief management – secular and Scriptural.
17. Don’t be obsessed – but be focused.
18. Stay healthy – depend on a doctor for assistance.
19. Take care of routine business – find a routine.
20. Get rest and sleep.

Extra Credit: Believe it will get better.

I have advised several people this week to avoid the panic and hustle-bustle of life and take the time and have the will to grieve well.  I think it is good advice.

It’s what I have been told, and I feel like the healing is about to commence.
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