3 months later (7/24/12) and I’m still lonely in a crowded room. I’m still working on myself and I’m not fully aware yet of other people’s needs of me as I attempt to figure out how to make it myself to the next moment. It’s been such a long time that I have had to focus on myself and my kids making it through the day. And as that part becomes easier, I am realizing the ways I have not been there for the people that I love who have been there for me since day one. Grief does that to you though. If you are actually dealing with it and not suppressing it. It becomes about your pain and how you are ever going to make it through the drastic change in your life. Grief is self consuming. As I continue to work through myself and my fears and my doubts, I can only hope those who love me will know that I still do. That the more my head clears and heals, the more I can see myself getting back to being the kind of friend that I was for them in the past. Because I promise I’m getting so close.
The hardest aspect of the grief for me right now is just not feeling like myself. I’m a social butterfly who can’t bring myself to get mad at my daughter when I get reports that she was talking in school because I know that is how I was. We of course discuss how you have to be careful and make sure you are being respectful. Even as a grownup, I’m the one at school, working out with my Kindergarteners – “feel the burn!” I’m the one singing, dancing, laughing, and loving and of course having “random dance party” times. In the middle of quiet work time I blast tunes from my iPod dock and act totally surprised when my students look up. And then we yell “Random dance party” and get to dancing. The most amazing part of this is that when the song ends, at 5 and 6 years old, they will go immediately back to their work. It’s the best!! I and Dorina, my co-worker, may also be responsible for a few staff dance parties in the hallway after the kids are gone – think Soul Train dance line. And this has been me. Everyday. This energy. And now…I want it back.
Now every day is different.
I only have enough energy to make it through the moment.
My mind is so busy all the time. I don’t necessarily know what my mind is so busy with but it’s busy. Constantly.
And I’m tired.
Life is so undefined. All over the place really. I am lonely, lonely in my pursuits to understand.
So I pray, and I pray, and I talk to God. And I read. And read. And read. Last night was from a book entitled “Through a season of grief: devotion for your journey from mourning to joy.” It is a book by Grief Share which is the program I have been attending for support of people grieving the death of a loved one. Of all the things in my life that I have wanted to share with others; love, fun, laughter, stillness, strength, music, support, silliness…Grief has never been on the list. It doesn’t fit the definition or picture I have of myself. Grief is like an uncomfortable outfit that you have to wear through no choice of your own. And because grief is so uncharted and undefined, the people I encounter don’t recognize it’s model or markings. So they see this version of myself that I don’t even understand and that makes me lonely and uncomfortable. Loneliness is uncomfortable. As I sit in this coffee house, seeing people engaging in meaningful and charismatic conversations, I want to be there again. And not know this pain and loneliness.
Growing Through Loneliness (from Through a Season of Grief)
Loneliness is never comfortable, but if you ask Him, the Lord can bring something good out of it.
“The Lord sees to it that you find yourself in a lonely position sometimes,” says Elisabeth Elliot, “not necessarily geographically. You can be in a crowded room and still be lonely.
“Oswald Chambers has something very interesting to say about that, “Friendship with a person who has not been disciplined by loneliness is a very dangerous kind of friendship.’
“You need to recognize God’s discipline of loneliness when it is assigned to you and receive it with both hands saying, “Lord, I would not have chosen this, but I will receive it. Now teach me what I can only learn in loneliness.”
It is not God’s plan to give you everything you want for your life or to ensure that life is comfortable and problem-free. God has made life so that it is filled with times of receiving and times of letting go. He wants you to learn to be content where you are now because He is with you.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
Lord, teach me what I can learn in loneliness.
Deep down I know that grief is a part of my life right now. A part of me that I have to share with others among the love and laughter. I am so grateful to have friends who understand this and who listen and allow me to share. Friends who also recognize my silence and feelings of loneliness and don’t force me to talk. The loneliness is difficult but I have to remind myself that I can FEEL alone, but never be lonely. That God never leaves my side. My smile in this picture ensures me that the same me is still there, and reminds me what a friend told me very early on: “Embrace this time in your life, for yourself, because it is a season that is impossible to avoid. You are in a healing season and you have to be really intentional about it. And seek God.” So I will continue to embrace this time in my life. I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t trade the life I am living for anything and eventually it will all be better. I just have to keep working and keep growing. And continue to be thankful for everything that I do have, because the list is never ending and always growing.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.