It's hard to talk about our grief.
To REALLY talk about it, to name it. To identify the feelings that layer upon each other so delicately.
Today, I found myself verbalizing my own grief experience at different times with different people in different ways.
It was good to share but also exhausting and even weird feeling. And, at the end of a full day of much grief discussion, I found I wanted ice cream, again. (It's official; I now associate grief and ice cream together – I guess it could be worse.)
This journey of grief discussion covered feelings about this past Easter weekend, the general month of April, and even forward-thinking as I acknowledge what's coming next — what would have been our 18th wedding anniversary in May.
One avenue of grief processing, of course, is thinking about it and processing it internally. Another is processing it externally through journaling or other creative outlets. But often, the hardest way means verbally discussing our grief with others – this is the process of giving voice to our thoughts and emotions. I participated in this activity and even witnessed it as part of our online GriefShare discussion tonight.
It can be hard to label our grief with words or determine the right words to express such deep emotions that reside within. Stating even obvious pieces of our story feels vulnerable and perhaps icky. Yet, there is good that comes from giving an audible voice to these thoughts and feelings – to truly acknowledge them.
I, of course, am still learning how this works. And even though it may seem like I am more comfortable discussing my grief, it's still really tough to speak about it. Yet, I keep practicing this exercise because I believe there is good in it.
Each time I verbalize these thoughts, there is an opportunity to acknowledge more truth in my story - the good, the hard, the complicated. There is an opportunity to trust that God is right here, listening to these very moments when sharing becomes even more vulnerable than expected. There is another opportunity to trust that God sees the complicated layers of this season and, of course, doesn't find them complicated, but instead perfect.
At times, I admit the truth seems a bit murky and I wonder why this is the plan or path God has laid out for me. Why am I even here talking about grief! Isn't this all a bit ridiculous!?
I voice my concerns honestly to God often and therefore often hear his truth echoing back. It's not always the same words, but typically involves something about me trusting him and familiar verses like Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
So if you are still trying to give voice to your grief. Hang in there, start small and see what happens next.
There is good, even in this.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.