Sometimes You Need A Good Cry
I thought today would be a good day to write about grief and loss. I don't know why, but it's on my mind and heart, so there you go.
I've learned over the years that grief doesn't go away; it fades for a while and then resurfaces in the weirdest ways. Today, I woke up feeling the losses of the past few years more deeply for some reason.
I'm missing my mom, for starters.
It's been almost six years since she passed away, and there are moments when I want to talk to her so badly that it aches. On days like this, I sometimes find an old video of her just to hear her voice and remember what she sounded like.
And then there are other losses that I grieve because all our losses and all our griefs are connected somehow. In my experience, feeling one leads to feeling them all.
Today is one of those days, I'm afraid.
For me, it's best to just let the grief in rather than trying to fight it. Fighting grief is like fighting a current in a river that you are trying to swim against, and before you know it, you're exhausted.
It's best to let the current take you and preserve your energy for a moment when you can find something to hang on to, or the river widens, and the current lessens its grip on you.
I'm not much of a crier, which doesn't help. I envy those who can let themselves cry and release all the tension that grief brings. I wish I could more easily, but I can't.
Until I do, and then it comes rushing out like water from a busted pipe.
If I am being completely honest with myself, I think I try to shut down the waterworks because it feels like I'm out of control, which has its own set of problems.
I read this Japanese proverb once that went something like this:
Crying is just the way your eyes speak when your mouth can't explain how broken your heart is.
I found that proverb so beautiful. It speaks directly to how sometimes we just need to let our bodies teach us what our souls are trying to tell us.
So, if you are feeling grief right now, maybe you just need to listen to some sad songs or watch a movie about broken-hearted people and then have a good cry.
Interestingly, over half of the Psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures are "songs of lament." These Psalms reflect the kaleidoscope of emotions that come with grief and loss. They are prayers that can be sung to God from the depths of a grieving soul.
God can handle our grief and teary, angry, confused, and sorrowful prayers.
While it's never good for us to stay in the throes of intense grief, there are days when we just need to experience it, knowing all the while that the intensity will pass.
On those days, we shouldn't feel guilty about feeling the way we do.
We don't need to paste a smile on our faces for the sake of the other people around us. If our friends and loved ones can't handle us when we're feeling grief, we need to be courageous enough to teach them how.
And we can do this by showing them how to embrace the eternal rhythms that God has embedded in all of Creation and in us: the eternal rhythms of dying and rising.
These eternal rhythms teach us that we should let ourselves feel the grief of loss, the sorrow of death, and the lament we need to express over all of it.
They also teach that we can move from dying to rising. We can pivot from sorrow to joy. We can shift from lament to praise. We can dry our tears and learn to laugh again. We can find hope.
May this be so for all who know grief today and every day from this day.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us now and always. Amen.