My grandmother died a few weeks ago. I have not written about it, because all I could really manage was “Grandma dead. Ouch. Sad.” But oh my body and my soul…telltale signs that something deep and painful and wrong had occurred.
First, my body. My body almost always responds to grief before my head does. Upon receiving word that Grandma was gone, I rushed off to dull my senses with a haircut. But I found it difficult to breathe. My heart hurt…literally…but I refused to feel in my spirit what my body so desperately needed me to process. “Down emotions! Down.” And down they stayed…for a while.
I was able to go home and attend the funeral with little to no feeling nor tears. Nada. Then home to resume life. Life would not be much different. I rarely saw my grandma. We spoke infrequently. If I was lucky, I could play this game of ignoring her death for weeks…months…but oh my soul!
My soul decided to join the grief party. It went something like this…weepy and sensitive…over everything…sorta like being pregnant again. And boy, was I ever pregnant…but my bundle was not one of joy…and I had no desire to deliver this tyke. Yet the labor pains continued (and continue) to increase daily. I weep over silly things. My heart is an open wound…but I do not welcome nor acknowledge my grief. For all my praise of grief and the amazing work God does in and through the process, I do not like it. I do not. I will not grieve…openly…yet. I know what to do. I’ve been coached through this a time or two. I’ve coached others. And all it takes is about 15 minutes of courage. That’s it.
Find a closet.
Light a candle.
Set the timer for 15 minutes.
Close the door.
FEEL it. Feel all of it. Give heed to the questions. Go to the dark places. Rail against injustice. Cry. Scream. Yell. Question. Question. Question. Whimper. Whimper. Whimper. Then silence. Sit in the stillness of the weariness that follows…weariness followed by a peace.
Timer goes off.
Get a drink of water.
Walk into the light.