For many the word change is considered to be a dirty word. We don’t like it when things change, we like the comfortable and familiar. Many of us like our set routines. Now this doesn’t mean we don’t like some adventure in our life, but those adventures are usually planned out in advance.
There are really two kinds of changes, there are the slow and subtle changes that occur over time – like aging, ware and tare on the house, children getting older and bigger, job promotions… and you could fill in your own list.
Then there is the unexpected change – a car accident, a health crisis, a sudden death, loss of a job, natural disaster… and this list can go on as well. These unexpected changes are the ones that knock us off our feet, catch us by surprise and can totally unnerve us. I think part of this is because we have no control over the situation, and that makes us uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable.
Unexpected changes tend to bring up feelings that we would rather not face. I can’t help but wonder if that is why when it comes to other changes, so many of us drag our heals kicking and screaming, because we think we have control, and we think we can avoid those same uncomfortable feelings.
That’s the hard part of grief facing our feelings, allowing ourselves and those around us to feel the pain and sorrow. Yet it is also important not to get stuck there, as if pain and sorrow is all that life is now. You guessed it, it’s facing yet another change, life without the pain and sorrow.
So whether the change is expected or unexpected it involves feelings that need to be felt and expressed, but change continues to happen – that is also part of the grief journey – change – facing and dealing with painful and at times unexpected feelings and experiences. It is important to face them, and its important to realize that the pain and sorrow we feel, is not allow there is in life, there comes a time that we must choose to let go of the pain – to change once again.
Letting go of the pain does not mean we are forgetting our loved one, as if that were even possible. Letting go, changing once again is embracing a new life, a new reality, a new way of being. The choice is ours, and it is often made by taking tinny baby steps, sometimes by leaps – we each travel the path at our own pace; the important thing is to travel the path and not get stuck. When we find ourselves stuck, that is when we most definitely need the help and strength of others who can help guide us and encourage us to start taking those steps, to shed light on the path, to help lift us out of the muck and mire we find ourselves stuck in.
Where ever you are on your journey of grief, I invite you to pause and reflect on the word change – what might be the invitation for you today, what steps are calling to be taken, who might you call upon to help be a support right now?
Listen deep within…
Listen, and know you are not alone…
Holding you in the light of God’s love,