If you’ve ever done any work in the area of human grieving, you may remember that the grieving process is messy, uncomfortable, and oftentimes confusing. Emotions barrel through our lives as quickly and unpredictably as a spring thunderstorm, with the so-called “stages of grief” coming and going without warning. We may feel inexplicably angry one minute, depressed the next, and then deny anything is wrong when we wake up the following morning.
Most often, we associate the grieving process with our experiences following the death of beloved people whom we are close to. Yet, life is filled with loss, and we often need to grieve these *other* losses, as well. And these days, we have lost a lot: we have lost the freedom to casually run to the store when we need something. We have lost the better part of a school year, and time with friends. We have lost the familiar and comforting Easter we had hoped for. These are sometimes called “ambiguous losses”, because of their unresolved and confusing nature. And they are still losses, which we very well may be grieving, even unknowingly. Which makes them all the harder to process, understand, and move through. But this does not mean we can simply ignore them. No, tending to losses and grief, although difficult, is an important step in our physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.
And so I invite you, this month, dear Church, to spend some thoughtful time reflecting on these losses and how we might grieve them. Name them, superficially, perhaps with your tele-therapist or someone whom you trust, and let the emotions do what emotions do. Feel the anger, feel the sadness, take them seriously, and let something new grow in the void that has been left. Grieving well is an important practice, one which we too-often ignore. Yet, we have the chance in this in-between time of life to stop and ponder these parts of our human experience that often pass us by without a second thought. And for that, I am thankful.
May you know a generous measure of Christ’s peace this springtime.
Copyright 2020. Messiah Lutheran Church. All Rights Reserved.