Friday, April 9, 2010

Raw Grief

(Not mine...I'm fine)

Last Sunday morning, Easter morning, a10 year old student from my school had to call 911 because her father was having a heart attack at the breakfast table. The family was getting ready for church, having breakfast together when he collapsed. A mother and daughter lost an incredible husband and father.

I'm raw tonight from witnessing their grief and the grief of their families. It's incredible how real and how transparent it is. There was no hiding behind a stoic face. They laughed when funny stories were told and they opening, loudly, emotionally sobbed when it was right for them, when their grief was too much to hold inside.

When my own grief is too much, I hide under my covers and cry into a pillow. I stuff my emotions down until they boil out, unwilling to be stuffed any longer. I avoid grief like a vampire avoids the sun--as if feeling grief would be the end of me.

Yet, seeing it displayed so opening felt so right. There were moments when I couldn't hide my own tears. When the sadness was just too much and had to escape in a sigh or tears. How much better do these people feel because they actually FEEL? How much easier is their grief to carry because they are so open with it and recognize it as what it is? I don't mean that their grief is less or doesn't hurt as much. I just wonder how much easier it is to deal with it when you can so opening recognize it.

If they are able to grieve so opening, I can only imagine what worshipping must be like. An experience surely. To be so real. To feel so deeply. To be able to express it. Worship must be like that in heaven. How can it not be?

While I'm raw tonight, I'm also refreshed. Nothing can take away the experience of having all pretenses striped away and emotions exposed.


Andi said...

I think Aubs is like you, and holds it all in until the last possible minute, until she explodes. I, on the other hand, can not stop my feelings from showing to the ENTIRE world. There are good and bad things about both.

What a horrible thing for your precious little student. I can not imagine...I have witnessed that kind of pain in my students and their loved ones at various times in my teaching career, and it is absolutely RAW...that is the best world to describe it. I will pray that the grief eases in time and will be replaced with bittersweet memories and peace.
Love to you, my friend.

Arizaphale said...

Wonderfully expressed Nat. I spent years pushing my feelings down and having them surface in a very ugly manner, usually after one too many drinks :-(. Nowadays they are much closer to the surface and it doesn't frighten me to let them go. Doesn't do much for my make-up mind you but must be healthier for every other part of me :-D Interestingly, one of the key steps in this journey was learning to worship more openly. For years I would be uncomfortable with those people who could raise their hands and sing with unguarded joy. Now, I still can't raise my hands(some habits are hard to break) but I will often sing with tears pouring down my cheeks and make no attempt to disguise it.
May God carry this family through their pain.