Complicated grief

Acceptance. It’s the 5th and final stage of grief. And I can’t… quite… get… there.

I’m so tired of feeling sad and desperate. How long could this grieving thing possibly take? I know I must be slower than most everyone else, right? It’s just like a woman to compare herself to others. The idea is ridiculous…

Ideal Griever: “Well, I moved through all five stages of grief in just 5 months. I spent one month on each stage. Very efficient, eh? What about you, where are you in your grieving process?”

Me: Well, I don’t know… I bounce back and forth between stage 3 & 4 – and then sometimes I find myself living back in stage 1 (denial) just to survive the day-to-day, ya know?

Ideal Griever: And how long has it been since the accident?

Me: Um, we just passed the 18 month mark.

Ideal Griever: Oh.

Ludicrous, right? Well, I just wish it was simpler sometimes – more clear-cut. Grieve and done. Let’s just get. it. done. But God doesn’t work that way. His carvings take time… painful time.

I think one complication is that there are so many different things to grieve. I’ve grieved losing the old Anne and all of her unique little ways. I’ve grieved the freedom of having all of my children be mobile and independent. Now I find myself grieving Anne’s health. She has seizures. She is unpredictable. She is demanding. She’s not whole. You can feel the sunken place on her skull where the brain tissue has atrophied from the damage. My sweet Anne is broken – a fragile jar of clay – and we are left learning how to compensate.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7). God always shows me that I am the same as Anne… I am a broken jar of clay – in desperate need of surpassing power. I think we all are. Don’t you?

7 thoughts on “Complicated grief

  1. Rebecca says:

    We all are. Yes, we all certainly are broken vessels. Oh yes. You are seeing it, feeling it and touching it. Experiencing it’s many dimensions. Though in some way or another, we are all in the same state of being. And I think you are wise to realize you are grieving different things and each of those things requires process. I love you. I hold you and your family in my heart.


  2. barbara summey says:

    I can almost know how you feel, my griveving for my husband and his cancer, I have my up days and down days, but we must remember this is God plan not ours, we are going to learn something out of these tough times, and we must know God is with us all the time, even tho we feel
    like we are in the valley, I am praying for you and the family, and I know alot more people out there are too. I pray for my God to let my husband stay a litle while longer, and he has, I do not know how long is a little while in God”s eyes but I will have to accept it. Thank you so much for your update, this is a good way to reach out to people and to share our
    burdens with them so they can pray too. Love Ricky and Barbara


  3. God is in control! He gets you through each stage. Be patient! God is very patient with all of us who believe in Him!
    Grieving is normal. We all have or are grieving in our own ways, just like you are. You’ll have strong ways and you’ll have days you just don’t see how you can make it through. But God is always there for you! Make room in your heart, mind and soul for Him each and every day. Talk to Him about your feelings each day! He’s the one who sees you through everyday!
    God bless! Life is tough! He never promised us that life would be a bed of roses. Remember that we learn and grow through all of our experiences. That’s God’s plan!
    Center on the positive things in your life! You are blessed! God is looking after you and He’s looking after Anne. He’s got a plan for all of us! Believe in Him and His decisions! He doesn’t give to us anything we can’t do through HIm.


  4. heather Martin says:

    God Bless you. Thank you for the real and raw post. Truth is always the most piercing and the most beautiful. So many people hide the truth of grief because they think, “I’m supposed to rejoice, always.” I’m learning to understand that you can do both.


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