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Thinking Out Loud: Real Life Drama in Grieving!

Thinking Out Loud: Real Life Drama in Grieving!
   Grieving because of death, amputation, a disabling accident, divorce, disease, or emotional condition are all reasons for our bereavement.  Grieving can’t be sidestepped.  The time needed for recovery from our adversity and sorrow is always personal and unpredictable.  There cannot be a predetermined healing time.
   Our Grief May Be the Leading Character in our Life Play!  As we enter the first act, we may be required to play a part that we never even imagined.  We will be challenged like never before. Sick-in-our-heart, aching heart, sick-to-our-stomach, feeling torn apart – these will be some of the emotions we will act out on our own life’s stage.  In our life play, we will add an act of depression, immense sorrow, and a deep dark fog as part of our challenging acting repertoire.  We will act out a period of time when we stare at the ceiling in despair.  Anger and hopelessness will make it almost impossible for us to “lift ourselves out of it.”  We may take one step forward only to experience three steps back.
   Anyone Who Has Sorrowful Bereavement and Unbearable Sadness Must Understand These ARE the Processes of Grief!  We must help the audience understand grief.  We are part of that audience.  It is entirely necessary that it helps us understand the process of grief.  Grieving is always a transformative process, and it is important to note that we will never be the same as we were before we became involved in this process.  We can, and should, however, be better – more refined, more patient, more understanding, and be a better version of ourselves because of it.  First, we feel the full force of what happened to cause our pain.  Second, grieving then begins to clear a particular path – only to make just enough room for our healing.  Third, we then begin to set the stage for creating a happier, more hopeful future.  That allows us to feel the full weight of what’s happened, but it also makes more room for the healing to begin and sets the stage for creating a future for the new version of ourselves.  Yes, intense grief and its healing journey require us to deal with a subsequent new life. This isn’t an easy path.  We must begin by laying a foundation for recovery.
   Adversity Is Like a Dagger That is Stuck in our Hearts Forever!  Just as you can build muscle by moving a heavy weight, the adversity we overcome makes us stronger.  Remember this: some grieving never ends. However, grieving does open a path for healing and recovery.  Our goal should be to begin to learn to embrace all that is good and fulfilling for our future life.  Reconciling our grief and new circumstances does require significant effort on our part.  We may be afraid to let ourselves fully grieve.  This may be because we think that we might not stop remembering our precious loved one.  Yet tears and expressed remorse lead toward healing.  There is nothing wrong with having a big cry, or to cry several times.  It may be healing to unleash our anger. Afterward, we can begin again to find solutions in our lives with a renewed determination.  As we express our intentions to find more happiness, we will get stronger.
  Sorrow like Grief – like Bereavement and Adversity – are all Part of the Grieving & Healing Process!  When serious and tragic things happen in our lives, they can cause unimaginable misery; some call it grief.  Others call it bereavement and still others call it adversity. Perhaps the name of this terrible sorrow is not the important point.  Let’s face it; we are all actors in the play we call life.  We each have the lead.  No one can stand in for us. We cannot go on vacation because we must finish all four acts of the play.
   Once on our grief stage, we remember our “old life,” but we cannot have that life back.  That scene has moved on and is past us now.  The important truth is that we must continue with the new scene before us.  We are the lead character, the only character, and we must embrace actions to reconcile our misery with our new life.  Grief cannot be ignored or sidestepped.  There cannot be a predetermined time to heal, but let’s not be idle or hibernate by thinking that our life play is over.  Soon, we will be in the next scene, and we will be happy again without effort.
   Take hope as a partner.  We can get stronger if we don’t give up. Seek those things that will help us most.  Let’s draw close to God as we pray and study His Word.  Interact with others because we will receive strength from them.  Seek support groups that are encouraging and positive.  Do fun-filled things.  Let’s enjoy all of our past hobbies.  Let’s live this new life to its fullest.  In time, we will discover that we have more strength and hope than we could ever imagine.  Our grief temporarily makes us feel permanently lost and helpless, but remember we are the only one that can play our character.  How well we act out our part in this real life drama will determine our joy in the future.
John T. Catrett, III
Scissortail Hospice Chaplain
306 North Main St., Suite E
Bristow, OK 74010

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