Chances are you have lost someone very precious to you or someone very close to you has lost a loved one.
As we were reading last Monday’s blog with James and Hannah Browning’s story in it, we were once again confronted with the reality that none of us is immune from grief.
Marriage Moments 53 is quite different from previous Friday postings. We are including a brilliant description of grief by an 80 year old man. We first saw it on FaceBook.
As a couple we would like you to read this and then discuss experiences of grief that have blind-sided you or someone close to you.
“Someone on reddit wrote the following heartfelt plea online:
“My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”
A lot of people responded. But user GSnow‘s incredible comment that stood out from the rest that might just change the way we approach life and death.
“Alright here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
“I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I know dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter’. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut or even gouged and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
“As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and magnificence of the ship that was and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
“In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe a week or maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing down. But in between waves, there is life.
Sometimes down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall… or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas or landing at O’Hare. You see it coming for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will again come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come and you will survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”
Couple’s Connection Opportunity:
1. If you are personally experiencing grief, how did this article impact you? Discuss.
2. As a couple, discuss whether someone in your close circle is experiencing the reality of grief. Perhaps you would consider creating a letter, phoning them and finding out if they need practical help or if they just need someone to listen to them.
A couple that reaches out to others in pain find out that through that experience they grow closer to each other.
Dare to Make a Difference!