Sunday, September 7, 2008

Subterranean Grief

Subterranean Grief.....this was a phrase I heard today while in Sunday school.
It was spoken by a woman who is the care giver of her husband that has Alzheimers.
She said most days she feels fine.....but she knows that her grief lingers just under the surface.
Thus, subterranean grief.
It is ever flowing, always there........ usually hidden by surface events.

A subterranean river is one that runs below the surface.
Sometimes it is natural...at other times it is made by man.
Unless you are looking for it or know it already exists....you may never notice it's presence.

Now for the grief part.
Many of us only associate grief with the death of a loved one. And yes, this is when most of us acknowledge that this would be the most obvious time to experience this emotion.
But according to the encyclopedia--
--"Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss".
And according to the same source...... "Losses can range from loss of employment, pets, status, a sense of safety, order, or possessions, to the loss of loved ones".
How many of us have been through times of grief and never recognized it for what it was?
How many of us have moved on...neatly placing memories in boxes under the bed?

If you have experienced a time of loss I am sure you have heard that there are certain stages of grief that a person should go through.
Here are some...
1.Shock and Denial
2. Volatile reactions
3. Disorganization and Despair
4. Reorganization

And society would allow you these stages. But, if grief can be a little larger by definition......do we allow others to move through these stages also? I don't think so. Maybe because the person does not know the full extent of what they have experienced.....maybe because as the body of Christ we tend to want to slap a band aid on a situation.
I have been a band aid slapper in the past. :(
And then it happened to me.
I guess that is why this message hit me today. And I guess that is why I could identify so well with number three. My band aid should have been able to be removed long ago.....but it never healed because it was never treated.

When I was listening this morning....I had never thought that maybe I was experiencing grief.
I guess I tend to be a pretty matter of fact person...black and white.
Situations would occur....I would try and put them in proper perspective and then move on.

Since the 9/11 anniversary is coming up, I will use that as an example.
How many of us who did not loose a loved one or friend realize that what we were feeling was grief? The shock.......yes. Volatile reactions......yes. Disorganiazation and despair...yes.
And finally....Reorganization.............have you reached this spot?
Have you allowed God to heal this dagger to your soul?

Maybe you have. But what if situations did not stop here?
What if life seemed to continue to pile situations on after this.
The end of a marriage......might not have been your own......maybe it was a close friend.
Maybe you lost a job or family moved away.
There are so many things that I could fill in here.......I know you could too.

Before you know it you are sitting on your butt.....wondering how in the world you got there.
You feel like life is swirling around you and you don't know how to get back up on your feet.
We can say it is all Spiritual.
Get it right with God and give it to Him......pick up your bed and walk...you are in the way.
And you know what........most of us move on. The walking wounded.

Lately I have looked at myself and wondered what the heck was going on.
Why the slump?
Why can I not get back up and start moving again?
And then lately because of the hurricanes- a few here and there have been posting about these and a few well remember ones from the past.
I finally began to realize that I feel lost. No, not just because of Katrina and what it did to the world I knew. But, add to that the death of a loved one, the death of a pet, the dissolving of a church body...and I could add a few more here. And walaa....my problem.
I think the barrel is full and all the monkeys want out!
We will experience grief in this world.
Joseph's life was filled in the beginning with grief.
Job knew grief deeply.
And the scripture even says that Jesus was crushed by His grief.

Have you been betrayed?
Have you lost family or possessions?
Have you walked alone?

Then you have experienced grief.
Have you let Him walk you through the stages? It is so easy to quote verses to ourselves and just try and forget it all.......at least try to.
I know that God had a purpose in it all. I know He will bring great glory from the path I have walked if I allow Him.
I am still human, and just like Job
allowed God to walk him through his trial.....so must you and I.
Matthew 5:4------Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Dear God...please help us stop stuffing our grief. Instead help us hold it up in weary hands to you so that you may heal our wounded hearts. Thank you for all the women here who have helped this child of yours in the last year.
Thank you for bringing those by who would not run from the trauma in my life.
Thank you for allowing them to be a reminder of the fresh water that is available in You. A water that heals a weary soul.
Thank you for being our healer. And thank you for giving us a love that we can love others in return. We love you.

12 comments:

Lori said...

I can sure relate to your post today. I'll be praying for this dear woman.

Lori

Denise said...

Amen dear sis. Powerful, and very true words. I love you, and your beautiful heart.

Edge of Design said...

I think because memories of relocating are still so fresh in my heart and mind that it's easy for me to relate to what you're going through. There are times when I look back and think of some of the good things I experienced in the wilderness. These times you're going through now, you'll reflect back on when the Lord has moved you on and there will be a gratitude in your heart for them. They are stepping stones to a closer walk with the Lord. It sure doesn't feel like it right now but just give it time. I found reading about Abram and Sarai to be encouraging. Maybe it will encourage you too?

Halfmoon Girl said...

wow- what amazing words here Sharon. My heart hurt just reading them- so true and I can definitely be a stuffer. I am glad that you are getting some insight into what you have been experiencing lately- there have been many changes for you. And here you are...encouraging us!

Marsha said...

Hi Sharon,

I'm not really sure why I've never visited you before. I see you in the same 'circle of friends' in bloggyworld. I see we both live in NC. I'm in the mountains. Your pictures would lead me to believe you are also.

Thank you for this post. It's very informative. The stages of grief you mentioned are almost identical to the stages I use in counseling some of the women and teen girls I work with. It's basically just different wording. This is something all of us should be aware of. It will help us to understand how we respond to tragedy, not to mention others.

Have a blessed week.

luvmy4sons said...

This was good stuff. Sometimes in my effort to keep my head up and keep on keeping on I don't realize this underlying subterranean grief...and I sure have been hit a lot lately. This helped me. Thank you sweet sister.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Sharon,

I have been through grief many times in my life. Not just because I've lost so many loved ones, but for other reasons as well. I can certainly relate to what you are feeling. I wil continue to pray for you and your family.

Love and blessings,
Mary

try2bAsunbeam said...

Reading this made me think of Moses when he had to hold his hands up to win a war, I think? God was winning for him as long as he held his hands up to heaven, but his arms got tired. So Aaron and someone else (Ha or Ho or something was his name) came and set Moses on a rock and propped his arms up. That's how I feel about the blogs and people I've met. When my arms get tired, they are there to help me hold them back up, ya know what I mean?

Sorry if I butchered the story,especially the names of people--I'll blame it on the pain meds! lol

SunnySusan said...

Sharon {{{hugs}}}

Grief...we all have to do it at one time or another....the biggest one for me so far...when my daddy died. The following year I was dx'ed with my fibromyalgia...the grief I felt from that is
1. I had to realize my life would never be the same again.
2. I could never be the wife and mom that I had always dreamed I would.
3. Things like walking, hiking, playing volleyball...etc...would not be on my list of things to do anymore
4. I would always always be disababled in my body.

I have never ever clung on to my God as I did when that happened. Now I cannot put your shoes on and live and feel what you are going thru but I know that He is able....to do above and beyond what ever you and I can ever imagine in our lives. We just have to trust....ha ha ha yes, doncha just love that word.....ok this is turning into a blog...LOL
I love ya sis and will continue to pray for you....
Are you in any danger of the river there....is it raining where you are?? Praying for safety also.....

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

I have a friend that is exactly going through this right now!! It's hard!!

MelanieJoy said...

Hi. I totally understand what you are saying. I think the first time though that it hit me that grief over something was more than the loss of someone was just this summer. When I found out my friend had cancer...I stopped myself oneday and thought...why are you grieving as if she already gone??
I also noticed it when my sister moved into her new home after the house fire. She has been in it for over a year now and won't decorate or give it that "home" feeling. The biggest thing that brought that to my attention was when the charter school job just vanished into thin air!!
I'm so glad you have discovered where the blah feeling was coming from...and that you are taking off the band aid for God to continue the healing process. You have been hit by "waves" ever since Katrina...but isn't it reassuring to know that in the midst of the storm...Jesus is in the boat with us...
I heard someone say today that sometimes He lets a storm come into our life just to draw us near to Him again....
Praying for you my Friend.
Love you.