Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday's Faith - Is there a “Cure” for Grief?

Friday's Faith

Is there a “Cure” for Grief?

A man whose wife of 35 years died 12 months ago does not suddenly walk out his front door today and say, “Okay, I’ve resolved that issue.” Parents whose 4-year-old daughter drowned in a swimming pool do not announce five years later, “We’ve accepted our daughter’s death. It’s okay.” Three weeks after the best friend of a 14-year-old is shot and killed at her high school, the teenager is not likely to say, “I’m healing.” Yet, while a growing number of researchers on loss and bereavement question the use of such words as “acceptance,” “healing,” “recovery,” and “closure,” the media continue to use them. This gives the public the false impression that, despite the tragic proportions of the story being told, the grief will soon be over.

~Robert Baugher

As I told my client this week, going through grief is not exactly "recovery," "closure, "healing," or "cure." But grief does need to be processed; it is very tedious; it is very painful, and along the way, there IS "comfort." That's it! Not cure, not closure, but comfort. And the very slow processing of feelings, memories, sorting through questions of faith, does result in a weaving together of our life that includes new realities we never asked for, but they are ours with which to cope.

It is like I mentioned to Tommy tonight, when God was giving Jesus the cup that He was to drink that included His own death, and Jesus accepted it after much agony and distress (sweating drops of blood), nobody for a minute thought He should be "happy" about walking into such a forboding loss. Yet, do people around us expect us to pop out of our grief, pop out of our loss and celebrate holidays, and celebrate life with them? Yes, they do. But that is unrealistic if not downright mean.

We are "in touch with our emotions" which is healthy. We are not playing pretend. Our lives have been torn from the inside out. We look a lot like victims of many other of life's storms- in shock, sad, dismayed, questioning who we are now, where we are to live, what do we want to do with our lives, what is really important, and do I really want to take the valuable time out of life to celebrate magical holidays that are man-made and do nothing for me spiritually?

We now have a new appreciation for numbering our days on this earth and doing what's most important versus the urgent, the expected, the ritualistic, the commercialized, the programmed. No, we want real. We want God. We want spiritual growth, not playing pretend. But we still may not be very happy.

Jesus modeled many times how to grieve by how He lived His life in many grievous situations. He struggled against evil, wept over the death of loved ones, and wrestled with God over the prospect of His own death. Though our struggles differ, like Jesus we struggle with our own cup that has been handed to us.

Jesus struggled intensely at the Garden of Gethsemane with the cup God was asking Him to bear while we struggle intensely in a more prolonged, rest-of-our-life-kind-of-way of facing the cup we are asked to bear. Even as Jesus questioned and pleaded with His Father, so too we beg and are still begging, "Is there not any other way than this? If possible, let this cup pass from me! May each of us, like Jesus, even as we die inside, ultimately say to our God, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." After such distressing struggle against evil and death, the Bible does not indicate that Jesus left the Garden-of-Great-Struggle with a peachy-keen grin on His face. So too, neither will we.

Robert Baugher's full article about the length of grief and how our society (via the media) measures grief:


No comments:

Post a Comment