Friday, August 10, 2007

The Journey of Grief

I'm sure some of you are asking: I wonder how Barb's doing? Complex answer really and one that would get quite a different answer if asked in a different hour of any given day. The rollercoaster of grief really is right - I know that so well but the difference of this particular rollercoaster of losing mum has taken me a little by surprise I must say. Even though I have experienced much death in my life for my 32 years, and some of it remarkably close, nothing has really prepared me for the experience of the last few weeks. From sometime the weekend before last I have really been struggling. Don't get me wrong - that's not the whole story - sometimes I can be more "with it" than I've ever been in my life ... but I can also be fatigued, tearful, forgetful, irritable, intrigued, more than ever. In pondering what is going on some words that I have come up with are "the tearing of the umbilical cord" - that seems to come closest to what I am experiencing ... deep grief of tearing, parting, ending, separation, grief that is not as much about closeness or loss of the person mum currently was but rather the grief of the death of the person who brought me into the world. Whatever it is, it's very deep and profound. There is also the other end of that - the energy that has come, the real sense of "life is so worth it", the sense of getting on with it. Currently, that is all so frustrated by the other end of it and being so exhausted from that. However, I know that this intense period of grief will pass and allow some more space for the energy side of it to be fulfilled and actioned. For now, I allow what will come to come and live the journey faithfully, trying hard to live the journey in a way that honours all.

As I've come to terms with the "tearing of the umbilical cord" type side of the grief I'm experiencing, I've also had a really special experience. This tearing I'm experiencing from the person who gave me birth in a physical sense I will never experience with God, the one who ultimately has given me life. In the midst of knowing that separation so deeply, it's huge to experience that so deeply and profoundly too. I'm also struck by the choice Jesus made to enter into that separation. It's profound beyond words, but something I know at a much greater level now than I ever have before and am overflowing with amazement and thanks for.

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