Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I speak for myself

but sometimes I feel the burden of speaking for all of us.

I know grief is personal. It affects us all differently. It manifests itself in our lives in different ways and on a different timeline.

But sometimes, I feel like I must speak for all of us. 

I had a conversation today with someone who very much loves my husband and me and loves the Lord. He was only trying to comfort us (how many times has this ended badly?) and make us feel better (there is only One who can do this). 

I didn't respond at all. My eyes teared up and I struggled to keep myself calm as I prayed for the right words and for the Spirit to help this man understand. 
But, really, I know you just can't understand unless you've held your dead child in your arms and felt your heart break wide open.

So, I didn't say anything. It wasn't the right time. It wasn't the place.
I will speak to him though. I feel like it is my responsibility. I don't want to make him hurt the way his words (unintentionally) hurt me. I don't want to 'put him in his place.' I want him to see and understand as much as he is able. 

Studying and reading about grief is different from living with grief. The grief for a parent is different from the grief of a child. The grief you live with may be different from the grief I live with, but one thing remains constant-
we live with it.

We live with it for the rest of our lives and no amount of time will take it away. 

I think where people, for lack of a better phrase, 'get in trouble' with us (the grieving) is when they try to make us feel better. Put a positive spin on our tragedy and 'help' us see that things could be worse or rank tragedy/grief and make ours less than another's. 

I've had 20 months and 30 days to get used to my role as an educator and some days I don't like it at all. But it's something that I take very seriously. 
I would love for this role not to be necessary, but in God's providence He's given me experience and words and a love for Him that compels me to move forward with this.

I'd love for everyone to see and understand. 
It sucks! It sucks! It sucks for the rest of your life! 
But that doesn't mean that God doesn't love you or won't comfort you or has deserted you. He loves you deeply. He is the Great Comforter. He will never leave or forsake you. 
But that doesn't mean that grief won't be a constant in your life, shaking you when you think you have it all together, making you feel lost or misunderstood- grief points you to Jesus, to the only One who can comfort you and give you hope. It points to your desperate and growing need for Him.

"Needs are my best riches, for I have these supplied by Christ." Samuel Rutherford

And He loves us too.


I have been absent from the blogging word lately. I guess I haven't had much to say, until today.
And it seems today, I have A LOT to say. ;)

Please pray for me (and Chris too) as we are entering into the 2ww. I am feeling really emotional about everything this month. I have been constantly crying out to the Lord for help in trusting Him. I haven't decided whether or not I'll share the result of the 2ww on my blog right away. I may or I may not. If you're crazy with curiosity when the 2ww is over and you haven't heard from me, then please email me and just ask. I am happy to oblige. 

love you all and missed you terribly!

oh, my email address is ebe.mnly@gmail.com just in case...


Sara said...

Ebe... I think you are reading my mind. I do feel like because I was given these circumstances(I certainly didn't ask for them) I want to use them to help educate others. Unfortunately I have found there are those that want to learn or understand more and then there are those that STILL think they know how you should be grieving...even when they haven't had a personal loss. AHHHH, it frustrates me to no end. I will we waiting and wondering about the 2ww. In the mean time I will be praying:) Love to you EBE!

Rachel said...

Grief is so intensely personal and different - even for two people grieving the death of the same person. I would not want someone telling me how to grieve or especially when to stop, but thankfully I haven't had that happen yet. I do feel like there's an aura (especially at church)that I'm done grieving just because I'm expecting another baby. If someone were to ask specifically I would share though that I doubt my grief will ever be gone (this side of Heaven).

I'm not sure what 2ww means, but I know you guys are approaching Owen's second birthday in Heaven, so my assumption is that 2ww has something to do with that. Praying for you both -

Anna said...

Praying for positive news at the end of the 2ww and sending you hugs.


Emily said...

I've been missing your posts and writing, which I guess means I've been missing you! I also take the role of educator seriously, and just recently sent a "follow-up to our conversation the other night" email to a person who's word hurt me.

This person didn't respond exactly how I wished, (more defensive:"I was only trying to..." instead of "I can see how my word would have made you feel slighted...") but she revealed things that I didn't know and we came to an understanding. It was good. But I have just recently become strong enough to do this.

Good luck with your 2ww!

Rebecca said...

I get what you're saying about feeling the need to educate others. For me, part of my grieving is learning to have more grace with those people. I try to discern motives instead of taking all their words at face value. I can't say that before I had an Olivia shaped hole in my heart that I would've had any different words than these well-intentioned people do. I just 'didn't know' and for many people, they just 'don't know' either. Even if we/I try to educate them, will they ever REALLY get it, short of going through grief themselves? I read a verse about how even the disciples not understanding Jesus' grief and I sometimes remind myself of that.

Will be praying for your spirit during your 2ww, that you would feel peaceful and experience His joy regardless of the end result.