Not Automatic

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I had to laugh at myself today as I was out to lunch with a friend. Excusing myself, I went to wash my hands. I pressed the soap dispenser, receiving a little stream of liquid, rubbed my hands together, and placed them under the faucet to rinse the soap away. However, as I held out my hands expecting the water to flow, nothing happened. I remember muttering, “Come on,” and moved them around a little trying to activate the sensor. Then my eyes moved up and to the right a bit and I laughed, noticing the handle with which to turn on the water manually. The sink was not automatic. I looked around, checking to see if my mistake had been witnessed and was relieved to see I was alone.

Walking through life, we often take for granted some very important facts. One of those is that recovering from loss and grief is not automatic. Work is required in order to move from mourning to joy. Intentionality is necessary to set our minds on things other than the sadness that can accompany loss.

There are those who have never experienced a loss who fail to understand that grieving takes time and involves work. It is not automatic. You do not wake up one morning and say, “Oh good! I feel all better now.” Improvement and relief come in stages as the grieving put real effort into moving forward and learning to live life again without a loved one.

Some people tend to avoid the pain of grieving and assume if they just place attention on others things, never facing their loss, everything will soon be improved and “back to normal” again. This is a false assumption. Journeying through grief is not automatic and avoidance of facing that fact will only slow down the healing.

Be encouraged. Even though making your way through the grief journey is not automatic, it is possible. You will get to the other side of grief. Give yourself permission to take the time to travel it thoroughly in order to deal with the many aspects and circumstances of loss.

Until next time –
Karen

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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.

Marking time

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Do you remember a time when you just couldn’t wait for something to happen? Perhaps it was saving up for and planning a vacation. Maybe you were excited for opening day and the first game of the season. Others enjoy the anticipation of a visit from special guests coming to town. Whatever is it you recall, when waiting for something special, we tend to find ourselves just marking time.

As we face a loss, it may seem that we are marking time, just waiting for the pain to pass and the days to brighten. Each morning we wake up and go through the motions with a heavy heart and a dulled mind. Time seemingly stands still as we dread each day that is now so different. We are simply marking time, willing the clock to go faster and to put the horrible experiences far behind us, hoping that we might forget the painful journey we are living.

I look back on the first four months after my husband passed away and truly cannot tell you many details of my days or nights. There are times that I regret not remembering more. Yet I realize that the lapse of memories during that time is probably a result of the shock I had experienced.

As the confusion and dullness gave way to clarity, I realized a decision had to be made. Did I really want to live my days just marking time? In doing so I would fail to contribute to the world. I believe we are all here for a reason – a purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Marking time will not allow us to accomplish the purpose for which we are created. Certainly I believe there is a time to be still and grief our loss. Every one who has experienced grief needs time to process and be comforted by others. Eventually though, there comes a point when we should be willing to move forward and do our best to make a difference in the lives of others.

Where are you in your grief? Are you still in the marking time phase? Have you been there a while? Be encouraged to know that there will come a day when you can do more. Look for it and determine to continue moving forward on your journey.

Until next time –

Karen

ResizeImageHandler.ashx

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.