August 21, 2012

Bouts of Grief: This Too Shall Pass

I've dealt with grief and that haunting sense of emptiness that comes with it for the last two years. For though I've known the strongest of emotions, but still, nothing prepared me for grief…with its heart-wrenching pain.

I was inconsolable and refused to be comforted, so I took refuge in my own tears instead. I moaned and wept alone through sleepless nights for a year.

At the outside I managed to appear like I had it all together, but deep inside I was devastated and crumbling. I realized how deeply my life has been rooted to my mother's…her passing away uprooted all sense of hope within me.

Blinded by grief, I could not find a reason to hope at such a desolate time in my life. All the sympathies and kind words were but "a shot of morphine" through my soul —it numbed the pain for a while, but it never stopped the hurting.

Describing exactly the same ordeal in his book, A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis wrote:
“I once read the sentence 'I lay awake all night with a toothache, thinking about the toothache and about lying awake.' That's true to life. Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.”
Grief is personal. One can share the joys and triumphs with people you care about and who cares about you, not so with grief. It's that paralyzing fear of uncertainty, and even your own thoughts. It's a personal battle one simply must endure alone.

Grief can teach you the value of what you have just lost, and that of everything you have left. Looking back, my personal loss has taught me to treasure all I have in life right now—for even life itself is only temporary. We can neither extend it nor have it back when it's gone.

We will all have a time of grief. Because it's part of the deal, of being "human". What matters is not how much we suffer the pains and misery of it all, but how well we endure through it all and come out better (and hopefully, more thankful) than we were before.

Grief (with its misery) or whatever "emotional turmoil" you're going through—this too shall pass.
“There always comes, I think, a sort of peak in suffering at which either you win over your pain or your pain wins over you, according as to whether you can, or cannot, call up that extra ounce of endurance that helps you to break through the circle of yourself and do the hitherto impossible. That extra ounce carries you through 'le dernier quart d' heure.' Psychologist have a name for it, I believe. Christians call it the Grace of God.”  ~Elizabeth Goudge, The Castle on The Hill