23 October 2010 ~ 5 Comments

Still Grieving…

A few weeks ago at the all-county Men’s Retreat I realized just how ridiculous I sound at times.  Or how ridiculous my expectations are.

The first night set the tempo for the weekend.  Joe Bishop shared out of Matthew 11 and introduced the theme for the weekend, finding rest in Christ and releasing our burdens to him.
After his talk we took a few minutes to share with a couple guys one or two burdens that we are carrying through life right now.
When it was my turn, I shared that my mom had passed away about a month prior, and I kinda feel like I should be over it and moving on with life now.
But the reality is I’m still struggling.

Wait…did I really just say that?
It’s been a month…get over it?
The truth is that’s how I feel, but I would never expect someone else to feel that way if I heard them say it!

Last night I had one of those nights.  I sat on the couch and just wept with my wife.
The kind of weeping where your whole body convulses with each cry.  It’s happened 3 or 4 times since mom passed.
Just admitting that publicly is super tough for me.
I hate admitting that I cry almost as much as I hate actually doing it, both of which are more comfortable than actually being caught in the act.
Not sure how I got that way, if it’s the guy thing or what, but it is.

I realize more and more that I don’t get this whole grief thing.
I don’t know how to do it correctly.  If there even is a correctly.
I thought I’d have it wired after experiencing the loss of my father at 16.  This is completely different.
I don’t know how to allow myself to mourn and just let go, so instead I end up taking it out as frustration at my family.  Not fair at all.

Recently I started meeting monthly with a spiritual director.  We talked about all this and he encouraged me to stop thinking about doing it correctly and just let it happen.
One thing he strongly encouraged was caring for my own soul by doing some reading about grief.
He suggested some books, one that stuck out to me being A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis.
But I have a list of more important books to read.  You know, ministry books and stuff.  Besides, do I really need a book to help me grieve my mother?  OK, well, I guess it couldn’t hurt.
After doing some looking on the web this morning I decided to take him up on the suggestion and went with In Memorium by Henri Nouwen.
I really dig Nouwen, and the book is his own reflections on the loss of his own mother.
It’s going on the Kindle App on my iPod touch now.  I’ll add it to the list of books I feel the need to read right now.  But maybe I should bump it to the top.
Perhaps I’ll share some reflections as I process the book.

In the meantime, I’m bringing it to Jesus, including my questions and struggles, and doing my best to grieve well.
Just a quick, honest snapshot into the current state of my soul.  Part of it anyway.

5 Responses to “Still Grieving…”