There have been times in the last year and a half that I have felt normal. For a few minutes, the pain of loss isn’t overwhelming. The loss will forever be etched into my life and forever I will have to ride the waves of grief.
For a little bit, life had gotten back to normal. But then, out of nowhere, the loss of my dad comes in like a tidal wave. I cried as I walked out of a movie that my dad would have wanted to see. The tears fall a little more often lately but that’s just it…I have to ride the waves.
Recently, I stared at the watercolor “Mr. Incredible” poster we have hanging in the living room and allowed the tears to spill onto my cheeks. I had been keeping it together. I was proud because while I hated it, I felt like I was living again. But if you’ve ever experienced grief you know it isn’t a linear process. One day is good and the other can be littered with tears and memories. When you face loss, there is a confusing dichotomy of both trying to move on and feeling guilty to do so. One step forward, two steps back…it’s how grief can work. Would this grief ever go away?
Then came more grief. And once again we were saying goodbye to another piece of my family. My grandma went to be with Jesus at the end of May. The parts above were written before we lost here and still seemed so fitting that I wanted to still share. Because grief can come in waves and all the sudden you could be staring at a new tidal wave when you thought it was supposed to be calm seas.
My family was now facing the loss of two parts of our hearts. Two lights in our family. Our grief was compounded with more grief. A week or so again I had tried to write a post titled just that and I tried over and over again to write it…and I couldn’t. I couldn’t explain what it’s like when grief becomes compounded by more grief. It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to live through.
How many of you have traveled through those waves of grief? Did you know this, friends? Jesus walks through those waves with us. One thing I can say, we are standing today because Jesus has walked with us through every moment. I don’t understand and don’t always like it. I get mad. But at the end of the day, I know that Jesus has never left us and is the reason those waves don’t drown us.
I heard someone say a few weeks ago that was basically no one ever really stops grieving. You just learn to live with it and learn to slowly move on and not let the grief paralyze you. The grief becomes a little more bearable but there will always be things that pull those heartstrings and remind us of those we love. I constantly see my dad in the little things. In the way I push up my glasses…in my sisters need to provide. My grandma is still all around me as well. In the way my grandpa hovers over us like she would…in my love of art.
I know this has been a bit of a ramble…but that’s how I process. Since my grandma died, I think I have been mentally blocking out a lot of the emotions and living in survival mode. As I said, some waves feel like tidal waves when it comes to battling grief. But you aren’t alone and the ups and downs of grief are expected and normal. Just remember to cling to the God that calms the storms when you’re struggling.