I will be linking up with Kate Motaung on her blog this coming Monday. In conjunction with the release of her E-book Letters to Grief, Kate is asking us to blog on, “If you were to write a letter to grief, what would you say?” So here is my letter….
You find a way into my head and my heart especially during this holiday season. I am reminded of all the wonderful Christmases we had at Grandma and Grandpas, but now they are both gone. My heart aches as I want to talk to my Grandpa and bend his ear as he was such a wise man. I want to hug them both so tightly again. It has been 8-10 years since they have passed but I miss them each and every day!
But the reality, grief, is that I don’t just experience you through the death of a loved one. I experience you through the loss and grief of a parent who lives each day with a mental illness. I love spending time with Momma, but there are so many things that you try to take away from me. You make me angry when I wonder who will hold my hand and go with me wedding dress shopping when I find that Mr. Right. You make me angry as I yearn for the days that I can carry on a longer conversation with her. You try to take away my hope; my hope of sharing grandchildren with her. You also have a way of taking away all of the sparkle I feel when I am with her. I cannot even begin to tell you how many tears you have made me cry; tears that are so heavy; so heavy that you take my breath away.
And as I think about these things, grief, I realize that you are the one who is in control most of the time. And I don’t want you to be in control. No, I need you not to be in control! I want to treasure all the time I have with my Mom. I want to talk to her about boys even if she maybe won’t be able to go wedding dress shop with me. And I realize that one way or another, I will have someone special with me to share in those precious moments with me. I want her to become a Grandma because I know that is something she dreams of and yearns for so deeply.
Grief, yes, most of the time, you are the one who is control because you fill me with such anger. But today I am choosing not to let you diminish my hope. Because grief; my old friend, I am not going to let you have the final word. But rather am going to let God have the final word.
“Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning!”–Psalm 30:5
OK, so you had a former mercenary – and one who was noted for ruthlessness – in tears.
But mercs can pray, and I am, for you.
Andrew, my intention was not to make you cry! And thanks for the prayers I greatly appreciate them.
Prayers for you as you continue to struggle with grief!
You gave grief "what for" and your heart shined through and hope rose to the surface, like rich, delicious cream! Beautiful post, my beautiful friend. xo
Thank you friend! I love the image of rich delicious cream rising to the top.
Oh my friend…. praying for you and rejoicing with you over this: " But today I am choosing not to let you diminish my hope." Amen!!!
Thanks Karrilee!! Thanks for the prayers and rejoicing with me over the good stuff. Love ya friend!!
Mental illness is a grief of it's own kind, and the living loss it brings to those acquainted with it can be a loss of present and future. But as you wrote, we do have a choice in it, and even when it's hard, it sounds like you are choosing to "let God have the final word" rather than giving grief that power. So glad you have such hard-won wisdom. Blessings to you!
Exactly which is why I wrote my letter to grief. Blessings to you as well!
You have written my heart on this page, I struggle with grieving over my Mom as well, she is also still with me but in so many ways not.. dementia will do that. I say let's stand together and tell grief to take a hike and rejoice in our Lord! Thank you for being so honest and sharing your heart. 🙂
Tobi, I am so glad that this post spoke to you. Yes indeed let's stand together and tell grief to take a hike. I'm so glad I can be honest and share my heart.
What an incredibly brave and touching post! Well done for making that tough choice not to let grief stay in charge but take the time to find the joy in each moment. It reminds me of Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts. I pray that God would continue to open your eyes to His many blessings in the midst of hard times.
Jo, thank you!! I'm going to have to check out that book. A couple of others have mentioned that book to me too.
this is beautiful… as every one of your posts always is! I've mentioned wanting to be more public, open, and "out" with my own story of grief and loss, but my attempts to do so literally have seemed to get lost. The months (no big deal at all) became years (most people lose a year or two here and there for one reason or another) and now decades. I have no idea where to turn now.
Thank You friend!! I pray you are able to find some way to write about your own grief someday.
You bring to light how there are different faces of grief – not just the one we expect to see at a loved one's death. It's a very real struggle and I am praying you find peace in the storm and yes, continue CHOOSING to not let the grief win!
last December at the Blue Christmas service I attended, the worship leader (who was one of the church's HS youth group sponsors and worked as a hospice RN) mentioned people in general usually will allow a person a *moderate* period of grieving after someone's death, after a divorce… but frequently are clueless and sometimes cruel regarding other losses. The Renaissance documented people dying of grief.
Thank You Julie!!
Leah, that is interesting. I didn't know that!
Thank you, Tara, for being brave enough to write and for sharing this snippet of your story. I hope that even the writing itself was therapeutic in some sense. May God surprise you with His goodness and grace, even in the midst of such dark and difficult circumstances.
Kate, you're welcome and thank you so much for the opportunity. The writing was therapeutic. Thank You friend!!
My heart connects with your grief and I pray you will find omens of joy amidst the pain.
Thank You Juliann!
Sweet friend, this is a beautiful letter, despite its painful subject. I don't have anything profound to say, but I am proud of you for embracing what I'm sure is a difficult topic for you (as it is for me). Love you friend!!!
Thank You! Love you too!!