Sunday, August 2, 2009

When I Grieve

There is a time for grieving
grieving for what has been lost
long remembered or fresh and raw.

There is a time to seek for comfort
comfort is waiting
waiting to wrap the grieving up in soft warmth
softly whispering, "take all the time you need."

When I process, work on memories experience the pain and loss, I take time to heal during and after. I listen carefully at times like these to what it is I need and often what I want.

Do you know what it is you need and want?

Often one of the things I need most is rest. I find that it takes so much energy to Heal. I know that depression can also bring its own kind of extreme fatigue and desire to sleep. I am not talking about that kind of exhaustion here. I am talking about tired to my bones if I push myself more I will have a meltdown because I have reached my limit.

I read a book once,
ABIDE WITH ME by Elizabeth Strout, in there I found an insight I had never understood before, the light went on!

Anyone who has ever grieved knows that grieving carries with it a tremendous wear and tear to the body itself, never mind the soul. Loss is an assault; a certain exhaustion, as strong as the pull of the moon on the tides, needs to be allowed for eventually. And Tyler, during the ten days he stayed with the Atwoods, spent an astonishing amount of time sleeping. Waking at daylight, he would feel sleep roll up to him again, almost immediately, and always with the force of anesthesia. When he finally staggered from the bedroom, embarrassed by what he felt was slothfulness, it was Hilda Atwood who said firmly, "Right back in there, Tyler. This is exactly what you need."
Back to bed he went, his body so heavy with weariness it felt as though his weight would push straight through the mattress to the floorboards below. His sleep was deep and dreamless, and waking again, he would not know where he was right away, but, hearing the children's voices downstairs, he was reassured, and would lie motionless, as though in traction in a hospital. But he was not in a hospital, and his limbs moved, and as he shaved in the bathroom mirror, he gave great thanks.

What is it you need when you do the hard work of healing? Ask the little child in you, "What is it that YOU need?" You just might be surprised when you get an answer.


  1. Rest is certainly important during times of grief. I guess for me, grief is what I need the most. I feel almost ashamed of myself for needing rest, when I already have plenty to do. But it is needed and it just means that I need to fit me and my own needs into my life. Take care!

  2. This is why I love meditation because it gives my body and mind a really good rest when I don't have time to sleep. (Want to go back to bed this morning but have to start work on a portrait and hang out the washing...) And it can be done at times when I'm not doing anything else like on the train. Often my dreams are more processing and more hard work whereas meditation is restorative for me.

    I hope you are having plenty of rest and peace x

  3. rest, absolutely! and when there's something i really can't get around, and it feels like i'm stuck, i stand back... usually i find i'm concentrating on the wrong thing, and standing back re-directs my focus to the correct spot...

  4. It is such an assault to our being.. and God who loves us, is gracious to grant sleep ;)


  5. What a great message,I'm glad that i stopped over for a visit.I came via a good friend's blog Tracy.

  6. This is such a wonderful, insightful post for anyone who has to face the difficult task of grieving. If I get the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse going this month, I sure wish you'd let us include this.

    Safe hugs for your grieving heart (((((((Vicki)))))))

  7. This actually brought a tear to my eye. Beautiful and insightful. Grieving is hard work! I had a recent therapy session in which I did some grieving work. I went home and had to take a 3 hour nap! Though grieving is exhausting, it's better use of our energy than the weariness brought by holding our pain inside forever. {{hugs}}

  8. When I'm depressed.. walking helps... it is not too physical and the motions help me. (hugs to you)

  9. When I am going through the grieving process, I give myself plenty of quiet time. I am one of those people who needs alone time. If I go too long without alone time, I become cranky and irritable. I then do some writing about the process and ask and answer questions that are floating through my mind. I get a lot of answer through my writings.