Grief

When do we let go of grief?

Today marks six months since Ben died and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. Life is not the same without him here and finding a new “normal” has been a challenge.  I still see reminders of him around every corner, and can’t imagine the rest of life without him in it.

Over the last six months I have talked to more people about grief and have read more books about losing a spouse then I would have even thought were in print. I read them searching for hope, for peace, for an idea of what comes next and what expectations I can have for the future.

Since this journey began I have wondered what the end would look like… would I make it to the end… would the grief ever truly go away? Or would it be with me until the end of life brings me back together with him?  I struggled with not wanting the grief to end, and knowing that Ben would never have wanted me to stay in that place of pain forever.

A friend recently told me that grief is like a tug of war… and I find that realization both insightful and encouraging. If you think of the line as the dividing point between grief and contentment/happiness, you will see that you can constantly be pulled back and forth from one side to the other.  As she described it, you end up going back and forth from one side to the other until you realize you are spending more time across the line then on the grief side of it.

I don’t think that it matters how strong you are, or how hard you pull or fight against it… you are bound to spend some time on both sides of the line. You may pull with all your might, but you will still end up spending some time in grief.  And eventually if you trust God and allow Him to work in you, you will spend more time across that dividing line.

I don’t think there is a time limit on grief. I think that the amount of time spent on either side of that line is different for each one of us.  It doesn’t mean we love less or have moved on if we spend more time on the other side of the line, it just means that we have reached a point where God has let us let go a little.

I miss Ben tremendously. I still love him with all my heart.  But these days I am thankful for the time that I get to spend across that dividing line.  I am thankful for the opportunity to smile and laugh and enjoy life with my family and friends again.  It doesn’t make me miss or love him any less, but it constantly reminds me of how he lived life.  He lived it the fullest, he enjoyed every moment, and he made a point of making every moment count.

For a while I didn’t want the moments to count without him in them. And now, I want to make them count for him.  I don’t think of it as letting go of Ben or of grief, but of allowing God to take me to a different place in this journey.  I am thankful that He continues to stay right beside me as I will continue pulling that rope back and forth for the next months and years as we learn to live life without Ben.

I have heard from so many people since I posted my last blog post. I am praying for you.  If God has you in a season where you aren’t okay, I am praying He will come right alongside you and comfort you and give you hope.  I can’t imagine being in this place without Him and I pray you will find Him there too!

4 thoughts on “When do we let go of grief?

  1. You have such a beautiful talent of inspiring hope for others. Thank you for that! By the way, I was smiling as I shared the story of how Ben got the bird out of my car roof rack the other day! Always the hero!

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  2. I love the tug or war analogy. On Tuesday, I sat on the floor and cried. It has been ten and a half months since my mother in law passed and I find myself rarely crying anymore. But when the wave of sadness hits, it knocks me down. I don’t think grief ever goes away. We learn to cope, but the depth of our loss remains. Praying for you! 💕

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