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The Challenges of Grief: Surrender

By Yourtribute @yourtribute

The Challenges of Grief: SurrenderI have a friend named Paula Loring who I think is the best leader of grief groups I have ever known. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has made a tremendous impact there through her marvelous way of getting people to talk in groups. She has an outline of the grief process that I am sure I have refered to in other posts but it needs to be explored again and again. She says grief is:

When the heart breaks

When the heart bleeds

When the heart surrenders, and

When the heart heals.

I find the word surrender quite interesting and wonderfully insightful. There comes a time, and no one can predict when that time will happen, when we must surrender. Matter of fact there may be several times when we must surrender.

To me the word surrender signifies acceptance and turning loose more than any sense of defeat.

I think we have to surrender to grief being a journey that must be walked through instead of it being some condition that can be cured by magic words or some kind of restoration program. We really would like for someone to come along and say just the right things or perhaps lay hands on us with some kind of healing power and suddenly we would be well and the pain would be gone. Many folks expect God to do this for them. That there is some kind of magical power and if we could only find it we could be instantly healed. Often we talk about how much our faith is doing for us or to us when in fact we are trying to make it happen by declaring that it has already done so.

Healthy grieving demands that we recognize this is a long and hard path with no short cuts, no magic, no sudden cures. It demands that we meet the pain head on, that we live through the first terrifying days of utter loneliness, and surrender to the task of putting one step in front of the other and gradually learning to live again without the presence of a lost love.

We can fight it and curse the Gods that be for making it that way. We can fight ourselves and insist that we should be stronger and more able to put the pain behind us and move on. But, if we are going to live again we must first surrender to the fact that we have a journey to finish.

We must surrender to the reality of the death. At first they are constantly on our minds and even though we know they are dead we somehow expect them to come back. Like a mother said, “We are sitting here planning the funeral for my son, but I expect that door to open any minute now and for him to walk into the room.” Sometimes we cling to this state of unreality for as long as possible. It feels like facing the reality is somehow giving up all hope. The day comes when we have to actually surrender and accept the reality, and what we know in our minds becomes real in our hearts. The loved one is gone and will not come back.

Sometimes we must surrender to the cure. I have known folks who clung to the pain. They were accused of wallowing in their grief and doing so for the attention and care the pain brought them. I don’t believe that is the reason at all. They clung to the pain because they thought feeling less pain meant they were forgetting the loved one and somehow not honoring them properly. Sometimes the pain makes us feel closer to the person. I remember a friend who every time she began to feel a little bit better, would read her loved one’s diary which drove her to tears and agony. She was not wallowing nor seeking attention, she just felt closer to her loved one when she was almost beyond function in pain. The day came when she had to take a chance. It was a tough thing for her to do. If she surrendered and allowed herself to get well, she had to gamble on that not making her forget or not feel as close to her lost love. She surrendered with fear and trembling.

No one can say when we should surrender. No one can say how we should go about doing so, but the day must come when we begin to let loose of the idea of the comfort of a magical cure, give up the security of denial, and actually allow ourselves the right to get better.

Copyright Doug Manning of In-Sight Books, Inc. Doug’s books, CDs and DVDs are available at Post originally published on Doug’s Blog at The Care Community


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