The Waves of Grief

Many a time as a youth I sat watching the waves crash against the shore, feeling my emotions crash with them.

That feeling when you just have nothing left to give. No tears left to cry. No screams left in your red raw throat. The numbness has descended and all you can do is watch the world pass. For five minutes before you pull up your spine and face the world again. For five hours before you roll out from under the covers and trust in the promise of that sweet, hot shower. For five years, and another pill, the Dr promised this one would work …

Grief is as individual as the love that causes it. It may be a person, a pet, a thing. An institution. Grief can be passing, a wistful memory which turns in your gut before you notice the sunshine and smile. Or it can wrench the living breath out of you before blocking the sun for a month, giving you no formal notice of the intent to pay a visit.

Sometime grief can be compound. Am I grieving this loss, or the one from ten years ago. Maybe both? Did I really just cry over a paperclip snapping? Or was it because my friend used to buy those oversize striped paperclips from TJ Allens (remember them anyone?!) and she isn’t in my life any more?

As I continue my journey of deconstruction, I face so many waves of grief. Yet I welcome them, almost like I welcomed the pains of labour in the birth of my children. Each wave of grief brings with it further processing. Another healing step. Greater understanding and a blessed release. As I let the tears fall, or the screams rattle into the soft acoustic of a cushion, I know I’m letting go. Which I am so bad at. My brain chews things over like a prize cow. Why not just let my body do the work as it naturally sees fit?

Growing up on the coast, the waves used to soothe me so often. Living inland as an adult, I miss that so very much. But now I see the waves in my own life as less of a curse, something to fear, and more of my own soothing mechanism. God’s natural wave machine, my own natural high tide crashing onto the shore when the gravitational pull of grief is the strongest. It’s all just so natural. And so right.

Jesus wept, y’know.

Peace be with you.

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