I feel as though I am sitting in a little rowing boat called Grief, with no oars, bobbing about on the ocean.
Sometimes the weather is good and I drift and feel calm in the sun, other times it’s stormy and I get thrown about, feeling scared and lonely, and I cry a lot then. But I just have to hang on and stay in the boat and go where the waves take me, because I’m on a journey. I know that eventually I will see land and when I finally step out of the boat, I will feel stable and grounded. Even though I’ll remember the trials of the journey, they will not have a hold over me but just be a part of who I am.
No one can accompany me on my journey in this boat, but there are people I can see in other boats, called Encouragement, Comfort and Support, just a little way off. They have to keep a distance, but knowing they’re out there does help. I have to be careful not to take on worry or upset or too much responsibility, and resist allowing it to sit there with me – or yes, my boat will surely sink. There is no capacity for anything else – especially things that weigh heavy.
I appreciate the friends and dear ones who let me make this painful journey without judging me. People have a tendency to say (either with their mouths or their eyes…) “Oh, are you STILL drifting aimlessly in that old boat? You need to stop that, it’s not healthy. Why don’t you flag down a bigger boat and get a tow, or jump in and just start swimming to shore? You need to get back to normal…”
Don’t they know I’m too tired and too scared and frozen in my thoughts and memories to do anything except just sit and hang on? I have no energy. I can’t think clearly. Every day I just look at the boat and the water… it’s where I am – until it’s not! But there is no normal anymore. If I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that! But a new chapter in my story awaits once I’ve completed this particular journey. I can’t hurry it, and I think it’s best not to try. All wounds heal at different rates – and this is a big wound! It’ll take time. How much time, only the Lord knows…
I thought I was ok, but now I know I’m not and I have to give myself permission to be where I am for as long as is needed. It’s not where I thought I was or, indeed, expected I would ever be. I’m used to carrying on, being strong for others who need me. It is humbling, that’s for sure, but I’m convinced that something good will come of this one day. Whether it’s allowing others the opportunity to step up, knocking down my pride, letting me empathise with others who feel this way through bereavement or some other kind of loss… In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. ❤