COUNT THE LOSS
The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief-
But the pain of grief is only a shadow
When compared with the pain of never risking love
~Hilary Stanton Zunin
“To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”
IT FEELS LIKE SOMEONE HAS DIED“Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. . .‘Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?. . .‘Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul? . . .Oh that I might have my request that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!’” (Job 3:1, 11, 20; 6:8-9 NIV).
These words of Job taken from the word of God depict grief openly. The depth of his sorrow was not minimized. Suffering intensely, he begged God to crush him and end his life. This honesty comforts during grief because it portrays exactly how we feel. In the midst of sorrow we can more readily identify with the truthful emotions of Job’s struggle than we can with verses on victory and joy.
Grief is described in Webster’s dictionary as “pain of mind on account of something in the past; mental suffering arising from any cause, as misfortune, loss of friends, misconduct of one’s self or others, deep sorrow or sadness.”[i]
If these words resonate with your hurting soul, you are in the valley of grief.
I never thought of betrayal and grief wrapped together. If someone was grieving than someone had died, that was the extent of my knowledge. How naive. Then betrayal hit my marriage and sadness deep and cavernous entered.
I mention this because most people are not prepared for the depth of this emotion when betrayal shockingly visits. They have no idea what or how to manage grief. The first step is acknowledging its presence and the fact help is needed to work through the pain.
NO, you are not going crazy, you are grieving and its a necessary step toward your healing.
Here is a short journal entry I wrote when in the throws of grief. I include this not to accent the negative nor portrait a "woe as me" story, but rather identify with your suffering and give encouragement that there is a way beyond the sadness you feel today.
November 30, 2007 (One month post disclosure)
My emotions are a vacillating rotation between peace, power, and pain. The primary emotion however, is an outpouring of sorrow. It feels as if there has been a death, but no warm arms reach out to comfort. No flowers, or cards, no out-pouring of love. There’s no support. It’s a place with lonely pockets of pain and toxic silence. All I have is the directive to get through another day, one painful moment at a time. God is quietly providing the strength for one tiny step upon another. This remains a wilderness experience because I don’t want to expose my husband. I know I’m too hurt to share my sorrow without bitterness seeping through, so it feels like its better I say nothing at all. No one knows the pain I bare, the sorrow that fills me, the desert I walk alone.
I struggle not to think of them together and what they did. I’m taking each thought captive and find myself with the need to pray incessantly. I’m broken, bleeding and naked. My grief is a festering wound. The best gift my husband could have given me was faithfulness, but he chose otherwise.
I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I cry with great racking sobs. Tears flow, matting my hair and soaking my pillow. Guttural groans wrench free. Sorrow aches through to the marrow in my bones as if I’m terminally ill. My soul carries a rock-like heaviness. I’m devastated.
BUT I’m held by a power that is not mine. If ever I’ve felt cradled in God arms, it’s now. I curl in fetal position, and He holds me close. A soothing presence envelops me in warmth. I am not alone.
~ ~ ~
In the following weeks I will give some solid advice on how to walk through this valley of grief, but for today it is enough to assure you that grief is normal, grief is necessary, and allowing grief is part of the process toward healing.
[i] Adapted from 1913 online Webster Dictionary (www.webster-dictionary.net)