When I was learning to drive I was warned about the bad habit of pushing the accelerator, quickly slamming on the brakes, then laying on the gas again. The extreme use of applying brakes and gas certainly is not a smooth or smart way to drive. In fact, the overuse of them can actually create a dangerous situation.
As you travel along grief’s road, there will be occasion for you to halt your forward progress in order to slow down and process your emotions and deal with life’s demands. It will be natural for you to be still at times, receiving needed rest and time before once again moving forward. While you can expect your progress of healing to slow and even stop for a short while, most of your grief journey will be spent moving forward.
You may have days when you feel lost and finding joy seems hopeless. Anticipating the pain of recurring grief, you may unintentionally be applying the brakes in your journey, fearing the hurt that may be ahead. By digging in your heels and refusing to move forward, you actually can cause more heartache for yourself and those around you. Being unwilling to accept the changes that grief brings is a sad place to park.
There is also danger in stepping too quickly on the gas while moving along grief’s road. Wanting to avoid the pain and sadness associated with death, some people choose to ignore their loss and hurry through each day. They refusing to admit a need to process what has happened and work through certain emotions. Speeding ahead full steam without awareness of your surroundings may cause you to repeat your journey later down the road instead of healing and finding comfort and joy in the present.
The misuse of both brakes and gas in your grief can cause your journey to be jerky at best. Though traveling through grief is never smooth, it is possible to move ahead at a reasonable, doable, and healthy speed. Expecting the turns and obstacles that slow you down will help you process more quickly. Fearing those same turns and obstacles is not necessary when you trust that God has a plan for your future and none of your present life situation has caught Him by surprise.
Everyone will move along the journey of grief at their own pace. There is no one correct speed that should be dictated to all who are on this journey. No formula can promise that in a certain amount of months of years, you will feel all better. Just as you are an individual and uniquely created by God, your journey is unique as well.
Move forward with confidence. Do your best to find joy along the way. Admit when you need to slow down and rejoice when you can gain a little momentum. The reasonable use of brakes and gas is necessary in your journey. May you be encouraged to find the right combination for you.
Until next time –
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.