The Firing of the Starting Gun: A Race We Don’t Want to Run
After a loss, we find ourselves with a heavy ‘to-do’ list. These tasks typically are time sensitive and MUST be taken care of immediately. Like a starting gun firing to signal the start of a painful and overwhelming sprint; we start running to get everything done, then something crazy happens–our pressing ‘to-do’ list is complete. There is nothing left but to slow down and figure out how to live this season of grief.
Our New Reality Sets In
The authentic busyness of loss typically lasts between 2-4 weeks. During that time you eat and sleep very little, make a million decisions you that have no pleasant options, and are surrounded by people who supported you.
Then, almost like a light switching to off, there is time for sleep that feels haunted, there are few demands for immediate decisions, and the people in your support system fall back in to the patterns of their own lives.
You find yourself being still for the first time in weeks–and it SUCKS!
Most of us connect our stillness for the first time in weeks with the agony of our new reality. We associate the busyness of the early days of loss as a way to keep this unwanted reality at bay just a little longer–so we make ourselves busy.
Trying to Outrun Grief
Our new reality is something we don’t want. It is painful to face it or be alone with. So we choose busy over still. Suddenly our closets have to be sorted through, expiration dates for spices and pantry items are if high importance, and our in-box needs to be purged.
We attack these non-urgent tasks with the same urgency required of us early in our loss. In a sense, we are using busyness as a tool to avoid or outrun the hounds of grief that nip at the recesses of our minds the moment we lose pace or slow down.
The Dangers of Trying to Out Run Grief
I wish I could tell you that there is a way to avoid the pain of grief–but I can’t. It is a part of the process and part of living in this fallen world. We can take comfort that this suffering does not continue in to Heaven, but that doesn’t take the sting of today away.
Busyness, while it makes us think we are staying ahead of the pain of loss, causes the pain to intensify.
In our exhausted and worn out self, we grow short tempered towards those we love–most of whom are wrestling with their own grief issues. We may turn to other things, such as alcohol, to numb our pain when busyness isn’t enough to keep the pain of our new reality away. Destructive behaviors or relationships can emerge as a result of trying to run from grief.
Run to God, Let Grief Follow
We are terrified that the weight of our loss will cause us to crumble. On your own, there is a chance of that happening because on our own we do not have the strength or ability to walk this path or carry the weight of our loss. With God, however, we can do all things!
Allow God to be your refuge and strength. Let Him be your help in times of trouble. Call out to Him and He will rescue you. Pain will still be a part of the equation, but God’s HOPE will remove the sharp edges that threaten to destroy you.
Psalm 46: 1-2 prayer– God, be my refuge and my strength because right now I have none. My new normal is scary and overwhelming and it feels as if grief is hunting me like its prey. Trouble is surrounding me and grief threatens to over take me, so I need you to show up and be my help. I thank you in advance for staying true to your word. In Jesus’ name I pray–Amen.
This post is part of a series, Hope for Grieving Hearts. To see other posts from this series, click here.