Of all the stages of grief this is the one that is the most elusive in terms of gaining an understanding of what you are dealing with.
There is nothing you can do to prepare yourself for the reality of loss, particularly when it comes to the sense of emptiness that accompanies it. I can often find myself in this dark place, where nothing is appealing. Every smell is indistinguishable. Every bit of food is bland and uninviting. The things I once enjoyed and was easily drawn to are NOT interesting. I find myself wondering if things will ever be the same. Will colour and texture return? Will taste and aroma once again bring enjoyment or a sense of adventure and anticipation? You see food has become more important to me over the years because our youngest son is a chef. His joy of cooking and ‘creating’ has been infectious. I do the cooking in our home and so my cooking has changed and become more curious and adventurous than before. But in the days of D, R & L (see title) all that just slipped away.
Along with this sense of being adrift, I find myself needing to reflect. To remember and recognize. To realize that life will continue, whether I am an active participant or not. I seek out places of solitude and quiet. Places that remind me that seconds, minutes, and hours move on relentlessly. I realize that time is reminding me that although it may seem to me…at this moment…that time is stuck on some sort of strange ‘pause’, there is no pause button on time. I need to learn how to hurt and cope in real time. As I do, I allow for the creation of new realities and new history with its own new story.
I…reflect… and realize. I realize that I am not alone on this journey, even though I often feel that I am so very much alone…in my grief.
God has promised in his word to never leave us or forsake us.
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
My point is…when I feel alone (which I certainly will), I need to go looking for help. I need to lean into that loneliness and say, no I don’t need to be alone! I can go to or call a friend. If there is no answer there, I can always, always turn to God because he has promised to be there. ALWAYS!
My name is Dennis. What’s your name?
Who do you lean on when things are hard? We would be honoured to have you reach out and lean on us.
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