I don’t think Charles Shultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, really knew how true the words “good grief” are when he wrote them as a coined phrase for Charlie Brown. And I guess, when you think about it, the phrase in itself seems oxymoronic. How could anything be good about grief?
Now unless you’re a masochist, most people are uncomfortable with pain. We tend to be especially uncomfortable with the mental/emotional pain of other people. The awkwardness of not knowing what to do when someone breaks down and cries in your presence…do you cry too, hug them? What? Typically, there’s an issue that you probably can’t fix. No one likes to be put in that position. A lot of times, the person not grieving may say or do some real problematic things that they’re not even aware are problematic.
It’s problematic to tell someone hurting to “be strong.” It’s problematic to not allow the griever the opportunity to grieve, even when we think the cause of grief is not warranted.
Which really brings me to something that I had never considered before this morning. I just recently began a devotional on my Bible app dealing with depression (Depression: A Devotional for the Wounded Spirit). Today’s devotion dealt with grief, but this particular paragraph really spoke to me…
“You may be in a situation, however, where what you lost wasn’t necessarily good for you, but there’s still a gnawing hurt and weightiness in your soul…Today you may find yourself torn over whether it’s healthy to grieve the loss of something that was unhealthy. Grieving is a natural process that even the savior of the world engaged in. Don’t block your feelings. Perhaps it’s time to grieve.”
I am, in fact, grieving something that was not healthy for me. For days, I’ve been battling the guilt of even doing so. Why am I so sad…I’m free. This is what I both want and need. It doesn’t matter though…it still hurts. The grieving process is a necessary one, and so many people miss out on being whole because they don’t do it. Faking it until you make it will only work for as long as the pain stays suppressed. The thing is, every time something that comes up to remind you of that situation or that person, you’re faced with the opportunity to feel the pain all over again. Deal with it. Grieve.
In case you’re not familiar with the 7 stages of grief…