You should be fine by now

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Expectations. Those things we anticipate and at times take for granted. They are things we put upon ourselves as well as those pressures placed upon us by others. They can be a long time in coming or a pleasant surprise when they arrive suddenly. One unpleasant expectation forced upon those grieving a loved one is summed up with the statement: You should be fine by now.

Why is it that time has to be dictated? Formulas are calculated and those looking at grief from the outside figure that after a while your sadness should be gone. Tears are no longer accepted as an appropriate expression of emotion. Time has passed and life goes on. Therefore, you should be fine by now.

However, this is a misconception. Missing a loved one never really goes away. You will always miss them to a degree. That degree also changes and fluctuates within the grief journey. You will experience days when you really do feel fine, strong, and happy. Time goes by with fewer and fewer moments that remind you of your loss. Then, when you least expect it, dark times hit for seemingly no reason at all. Tears flow freely and your breath catches as you gasp and fight to regain composure. After all, aren’t you supposed to be past the grief and sorrow? You should be fine by now people tell you.

When you travel a grief journey though, no one gets to dictate when you should be fine. Only you can gauge how you are really managing. While you may put on a brave front, deep inside you hurt and ache to once again see your loved one. If only you could have one more day with them. Facing the realization that this is impossible, you do what you can to cope. At times, that includes taking the opportunity to cry, setting free the pent-up tears and sadness you manage to keep from the world on your good days.

As you learn to maneuver your grief, give yourself permission to say, “I am not okay today.” Admitting your sorrow and accepting that you don’t always have it together is part of learning to lean upon the One who does. When you feel that you can’t take it any longer, let Jesus carry your sorrow. He is an expert at that because He experienced sadness and sorrow while living on earth.

There is a Bible verse that holds great promise. In Heaven we will have no more sorrow, no more tears. While we fight to survive the days when we fall apart, cry, and grieve deeply, we also have the hope of a future without pain and sadness. “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (NASB)

Be encouraged when you feel pressured to accept the myth that you should be fine by now. Remember that you hurt much because you love much. Then ask Jesus to help you cope with the freshness of the pain you experience from time to time as you continue to journey toward healing.

Until next time –

Karen

Let me encourage you to share Grief Letters with those you know walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with stories of my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief.

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.