“…or an obvious attitude. It is a difficult discipline to constantly reclaim my whole past as the concrete way in which God has led me to this moment and is sending me into the future. It is hard precisely because it challenges me to face the painful moments – experiences of rejection and abandonment, feelings of loss and failure – and gradually to discover in them the pruning hands of God purifying my heart for deeper love, stronger hope, and broader faith. Henri Noun
This week, I struggled with memories of painful moments. The holidays loom like an iceberg threatening to rupture my facade of peace and joy. I found myself yearning for our mother when the anniversary of her death dawned on November 3. Normally, I think of her when something comes up with the kids or when a special memory surfaces. I spent the day thinking “Suck it up” and “Shake it off” when I got teary all darn day long.
For the last 5 years since Jack died, I’ve drawn Christmas cards with his image. He’s never far from my mind and this is my way to keep him in the holiday. This year, it’s difficult to sit still, think of him, and start sketching. My grief feels like the flu. Achy, too tired to think. I know that if I stay still and hang on to the sadness, it will linger. Can my emotional well-being atrophy? I struggle to get out of the wallow.
Nouwen’s words were welcome when they showed up in my email Inbox. I need the reminder. Grateful? Not unless I re-direct my thinking toward gratitude. My grieving thoughts are heavy as an 18 wheeler. Hard to re-direct.
God’s pruning hands hurt. Even though I know that this despair will pass, I hate walking though it. Will I wake tomorrow or next week with some revelation as a result of this grief? Will I just realize that I am no longer sad and not realize when the heartache left? I hate the discipline of loss, but I don’t seem to learn and value that which I haven’t struggled to obtain.