Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Today’s discussion is about loss and asks the question, “Where is the will of God for us in loss?” She says that loss leaves us “left to cope with an abandoned pattern of happy yesterdays left spinning in a blur of bleak tomorrows.”

Reflection questions:

1. Meditate on your experiences of great loss. As a result of these losses, did you experience the destabilization of your life? Describe the experience.

All of the major losses in my life were more destabilizing than I thought they would be, and the heightened destabilization of it had a very disorienting effect. This is often a delayed effect for me. I am incredibly put together in the acute moments of a crisis. It is the “afterwards” where the unraveling and the destabilizing occurs for me, and it tends to “sneak up on me”. It is a slow unraveling that is punctuated by acute moments of grief. It is frustrating because trying to hold it together is like trying to stop a shirt with a loose thread from unraveling. It can’t be done. I go through the motions of daily living, and mostly on the surface I “look okay” but there seems to be no cohesiveness to it from my point of view. Then, over time, when it’s all unraveled, something seems to happen where things start to get put back together again, not the same as before, but in a way that is ok.

The one thing I have to guard against, though, in times of loss, is I have a tendency to say to myself, “I will never be hurt like this again,” and to make this “come true” I have a tendency to close off a part of me to the world; wall it off, seal it in. That has been a bit of a problem lately b/c some of those walls have crumbled a bit and I am dealing with the residue.

2. Where was God in the losses you experienced, either in the past or the present?

That’s not always apparent for me at first, mostly because in the most painful parts of my loss I tend to shove God to the side. He’s there, I just don’t always choose to look for him. My bad habit is in times of loss or even threat of loss, I still have to play out my “I’m tough and I’m in control” illusions. I have not yet grown past that. But even when playing that role out, I feel God pushing at my back, never totally leaving me alone with my illusion, which truthfully, kind of irritates the hell out of me! The other problem these days with my illusion is that God has brought friends into my life that are “too smart to fool”. They tend to be “God’s little helpers” in this process, because they flat out confront me about what they are observing about my demeanor and might even say something like, “To anyone else you probably look ok, but I know you are upset/sad/hurting/whatever and you’d die before you’d admit it.”

Over time, in this process, God becomes more apparent as part of the healing process but it is because I start to slowly give up my illusions that can’t be held together in that “unraveling” I was talking about. I don’t treat God any differently than anyone else when I’m hurting. My usual pattern for years and years is “shove everyone away and be alone in the existential elements of my hurt, then slowly let everyone back in.” But the bottom line is in my mind, God is always there as he is always there for everything else in my life, but I am the one shoving him off and coming back to him.

3. Have you ever thought, in the wake of great loss, “What can possibly be left to live for, even though, for whatever reason, live I must?” What answers emerged for you during the grief process?

That statement is WAY too dramatic for my blood! Believe me, I have never been THAT dramatic about this. A more appropriate way of putting it in my psyche is “I just have to get up every day and live through this shit long enough, and eventually it will let up.” Really, as I go through repeated experiences of different kinds of grief, I learn different lessons. But the big lesson in it all is, “Somewhere in the middle of all this is healing. Somewhere in the middle of this are bonds that can’t be broken between me and God and those close to me in my life, and they are helping me bear this even if I am pretending I am doing it all by myself.”



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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