Will It ALWAYS Feel Like This?

I belong to several bereaved parents online communities and this question comes up again and again-it was the first thing I asked a bereaved mom just after Dominic ran ahead to heaven:

“Will this suffocating pain remain sitting on my chest, smothering the breath and life right out of me?  Will I ever be able to stop crying? Will it ALWAYS feel like this? “

The short answer is, “No, it won’t.”

For those of us who follow Jesus, we know that eternity with Him will be filled with inexpressible joy and peace.  Whatever pain and sorrow we have carried down below will be swallowed up by redemption and restoration.  He has promised both to collect our tears in His bottle and to wipe them away.

tears-in-a-bottle-blue-bottle

The longer answer is, “It depends.”

If I cling tightly to my sorrow, focus my eyes and heart only on what I have lost, then I will continue to feel overwhelmed.

How can it be otherwise?

I have lost more than I can comprehend-both what WAS and WHAT WILL BE.  My son is gone, gone, gone.  And that is not going to change on this earth.

I can’t play mind games and trick myself into thinking it will.  My heart knows the truth and it won’t be fooled no matter how hard I try.

BUT-if I turn and face the pain, embrace it, feel it and work on healthy ways to carry it-then I can begin to breathe again.

There is no way through but through.  I have to let my heart feel all the feels.  Stuffing or ignoring them is not an option.  They will not be ignored forever.

There’s no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.

Johnny Cash

I can choose to equip myself with tools for working through them.  Counseling, journaling, learning to lament, sharing with a trusted friend are all healthy ways to process pain.

And because I believe in Jesus, the most helpful thing I can do in this Valley is look to my Shepherd.  When I focus my gaze on Him, on His character and provision, my heart is strengthened.

Make no mistake-the missing and sorrow are still there-faith is not anesthesia! But there are other feelings that take up residence alongside my pain-hope and courage and grace.

faith is not an epidural

I have to choose.

Am I going to work through this pain or simply be crushed by it?  Will I allow my Savior to heal my heart or will I refuse His aid?

My heart is still beating either way.

 

 

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Will It ALWAYS Feel Like This?”

  1. Wow, Melanie, nailed it again! April 27 marked 17 months of my son and daughter-in-love’s going to heaven. Greg was 20; Haley was almost 19. We’re still cycling through all the graduations, special internships, and weddings for their peers and students they mentored. Every event is a genuine celebration for the friend and a glaring reminder of their not being here. “Make no mistake-the missing and sorrow are still there-faith is not anesthesia! But there are other feelings that take up residence alongside my pain-hope and courage and grace.” So true! As I finished your post, I was reminded of a narrated pantomime I once saw. God asked the artist to push against a massive boulder. The man pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed with all his strength, but the boulder never budged, not even a smidgen. The man slumped down in failure. God spoke to him, “Why are you discouraged?” The man motioned to the immovable boulder in dejection. God replied,”I did not ask you to ‘move’ the boulder. I only asked you to ‘push’ against it. See now how strong you are! You are ready for the work I have for you to do.” I certainly never wanted Greg and Haley to leave this life so soon, but there is a unique faith, a unique strength that comes with that mix of hope, courage, grace, AND deep pain.

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  2. I dodged the pain and grief for months. My son died in April last year and I didn’t cry until November. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop. I stayed crazy busy until I was exhausted each night. It wasn’t the best way to cope but I needed some distance between his death and allowing myself to feel. I see this pattern in myself when coping with upsetting events and at least I recognize it. It has delayed my healing but time has softened the pain a little. My strategy wasn’t one I planned or thought about. Indeed, I condemned myself repeatedly for not crying. What was wrong with me? I spoke to my pastor’s wife about this and she said that it would eventually hit me. It did. I think I just have been in shock for months. The last several months have been hard but spring is here. Hope has arrived. I can find reasons to still live so progress has been made.

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    1. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. Each person grieves differently and there is no right way or wrong way. Your story is common-many people are either numb and don’t really FEEL the grief for awhile and/or are so busy (for various reasons) that it delays the impact. I’m thankful you are sensing hope. Praying that the Father gives you strength for each new day. ❤

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