Grades of Grief

1CC51986-2CC6-456F-BCB2-98B5AF2690B2     I have had my share of grief in life and no doubt, you also.  It, of course, can come from a physical death of a loved one or friend but grief is shared among other losses and the pain is there.
     Growing up and probably until my own mother passed away, I dealt with deaths and the visitations, funerals and family gatherings afterward never wanting to lose touch with cousins and extended family members, but you do.
     It was when my mother passed that it all became real, the grieving of what was and what will never be.  While we were not the mother-daughter connection as pictures show and memories are made of, still she was my mother.  Sitting at traffic lights looking up at the beautiful sky and seeing the clouds, the tears would flow were my usual bouts of grief.
     Just a few years later, while trying to maintain my own home but also my father’s home and all of his financial and medical affairs, my marriage was dying.  I could feel it, I knew things were not right. I blamed myself as I was being pulled in many directions and apparently neglecting him.  While that was all true of caring and doing for many, I am not to accept all the blame and I will not.  Still, grieving the marriage of what was and what will never be.
F36661FC-75AE-4792-88F7-1F4EFB5ACE0E     Through the years, I have lost friendships for whatever reason by job change, moving, etc. no doubt, you have also.  Realizing their friendship was just for a season, whether it be their season or mine, it still hurts to lose the closeness. Depending how close we were, the grief can become intense, not just uncomfortable for a bit.
     With that I found myself to be distant with some because of the hurt, the grief of losing them. They are still alive but not there. Just recently, I went through this with someone very special to me. Every level of grief was there still and I knew it. Even today, I now teeter between the depression stage and acceptance.  This can last for a bit.  When sadness hits, I cry and then I get back up accept what is. Thankfully the anger has lost its power but it was there and normal.
     Whether it is a person, a pet or whatever to cause your heart to ache, it is normal.  It just shows you are normal and have a heart and love within that you shared.
Looking at the chart of the many levels of grief, I recognize each one and understand when it hits.  One of those, ‘been there, done that’ quotes.  No matter what your situation, grief is hard and exhausting.
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     Understanding the levels of grief in whatever you are facing, it will help you through it.  Normal.  Cry if you need to and then carry on the best you can. Some days you will need to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  Normal.  Will life be the same?  No.  A new normal will form and you will adjust.  One day, your experience will be encouragement to another; you made it and they will also.
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God Winks

B2EA2A90-D200-4A8E-A23C-07AA7ED8872BIn all of these years, I had never heard the term, God Winks. Why is that? I have had many, to think of, just the Favor of God. Basically the same. I have and no doubt you have had situations come about that only God could orchestrate and faith would be increased with joy in your heart to experience.

This past week, I was telling my present counselor about my week and this one situation. While I was thrilled, he was quite ecstatic because he promptly said that was no coincidence, that was a God Wink. I totally agreed.

1DDC170A-AB01-468C-8496-763D21B1BDE6The more I gave thought to it, I was just thankful to God all this time, but then realized how he was so right, it was no coincidence. Thankfully, I just tend to have stuff like this happen in my life and think how cool is that but also thankful and happy. It is so God. He is showing me that He knows exactly where I am. How cool is that?!?

Last Sunday morning was running a little different and out of routine, as my son was in for the weekend but leaving to go back to his place. I was getting ready for church but was getting off kilter, as he is never rushed. I managed and we still enjoyed our time talking. Knowing my church service was the late one, I still had time. Soon though, time got away from me but finally got him on the road and me, too.

Living only ten miles from the church, I had time to get there on time. I travel a windy two-lane highway and usually no problem at all, nice and slow they say. Well, that is exactly what happened. Moving just fine and then nice and slow. Traffic was backed up for several miles. I’m thinking a wreck perhaps but later learned a detour from the main interstate. Slowly inching my way toward church, I come close to a church where my former counselor attends.

It has been now seven months since our last session due to her leave. I have so missed her and have struggled with abandonment and fighting depression but improving. Trying hard to understand but there is still a grief. After four years together in weekly sessions, she was a big part of my life.

So as I approach the parking lot to her church, I could see her car at a distance. Just seeing her car as I pass weekly, as I go to my church and seeing she is at her church, it makes me feel good, knowing she is there and okay.

As I inch my way up the road, the thought came that I will miss seeing her once again although the parking lot was pretty empty.  I was kind of bummed but then I see her car move and come toward the exit. My car was coming up on the church exit, which allowed her to pull out in front of me. It was just as if we planned it.  No, that was the Favor of God or a God Wink, as my new counselor said.

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As her car is now in front of mine, my heart was beating so fast of the excitement of this happening and also seeing her.  Sometimes I am just amazed how such a rare situation can happen with me. It does but it has been a long time. I so needed that whole scenario to happen and no doubt the Lord knew I needed just that. He is so good.

Looking ahead of my car, she was able to pull out on the road with many cars in line behind me and no traffic coming in the other direction. It was like the cars all around us stood still. We could not have timed this any better, only God could. I think she was happy to see me, too.

God Winks. Look for them. 2FAE5D2A-7F51-4487-846C-D547B1E10B98

“Every so-called coincidence or answered prayer is God’s way of letting you know He’s thinking of you.

“An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to a prayer.”

God +‎ wink; coined by SQuire Rushnell, author

Gently Woven

4156B4E3-9EAE-4A84-BFA9-DE9EAD041FD3There have been times in life, I have wanted to forget something that I did or happened because the thought either brought torment, insecurity, embarrassment, etc.  No doubt, you also.  Things happen in life.

Plus, there have been times I have wanted to forget somebody or several due to being hurt, etc.  The pain of remembering either/or was too great.

Giving thought to how to forget, I found myself Googling just that.  Believe it or not, Google comes through yet again.

As I read the information and the six to ten steps on how to forget someone, etc., I had to laugh at some and come to the realization that no matter what you do in following the steps and recommendations, you can truly not forget.  Our brain is so complex that a scent, sight or memory will be triggered.

06AB7B8F-F83B-4FF0-91BA-26F25A57817BAlthough the pain, as in my instance recently, I would like to forget in order to ease the pain, but in all honesty, I really do not want to forget.  I just want to get through the pain and I will.   Plus, I know that their life is woven into mine and always will be, and mine in theirs.

770B8D89-A272-41BF-B607-CF77AB91ED78So many facets of my life are connected that I do not want to forget how they all came about. To toss them aside, to delete and block out all of the resources received, learned and love shown, it would be impossible.  My life has been and was touched.

Given thought to another, someone that caused me great pain and years to require forgiveness and come to terms with the hatred they have toward me, still they are woven in my life and I am theirs, whether they like it or not.  They can try to shut me out of their lives but family is family and the blood is there.  Still woven, just not so tightly.

Believe it or not, your reading this, we are woven together.  There might be something down the road that will bring this to your remembrance by being with someone.  You have touched a life of someone or they have touched yours.  Woven.

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No matter how or whom we come in contact with, we are gently woven with one another.  It’s pretty awesome to think of how we can or others affect one another.  Perhaps just a kind gesture or even a brief smile that made your day or a touch of somebody’s hand on your arm to encourage.

In life, we are woven to care and show God’s Love.

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