Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sometimes, It's Personal

I have no doubt that yesterday's post made some readers uncomfortable. In fact, I am sure within the nearly 80 readers yesterday, someone thought to themselves, "Why would she expose herself to the world like that?" Or, "Why would she want people to know so much about her personally?" Better yet, "It has been two years, shouldn't she be over this now?" "How long is she going to go on about this?"

The fact is, many of us have had similar experiences with death - sudden, sharp, deeply painful and life altering. You can read through my blog in January and February about the painful grief that I was revisiting, two years after the fact. It was a complete shock to me that the tears, crying, loss, loneliness and sense of abandonment rivaled that of the first month after her passing. I believe that other circumstances in my life brought this unfinished business of grieving to the surface at this time. A catalyst, if you will, to force me to toil through it. Grief is a never ending, in my experience. Maybe it goes away for periods of time, but it will always rotate back into play.

It doesn't take much to bring back just how big of a loss it is to my life. A friend was with her sister at a women's retreat and their interaction was bittersweet to me. I have needed a permanent helper with my scout group and realized this week, that she would have been my co-leader. My (step)brother is getting married in May and my (step)sister is getting married in June - celebrations at which she should have been in attendance.

Yet, at times I don't feel like I can share that with anyone. Why? Well, society says suck it up and deal. Life moves on even though we may not be ready to move with it. Even our employers think we should be fully functional after 2 or 3 days. Every one has their own stories, their own grief, their own lives...who has time to sit and listen to my sad song just one more time. Mine is but one of millions. Mine is not that special.

This is also not a call to the pity party, though Lord knows I can throw the best of them, complete with hats, streamers and a big ol' cake I devour on my own. And you can waller along not living life only so long. It will creep up on you and then you will be forced to deal with more than just your grief. Unfortunately, I speak from experience.

However, in my quest for transparency and authenticity, I find that the more I let it all hangout there, the good, the bad, the hilarious and the sad, the more connections and support I receive. People have a chance to know the real me and I am not afraid of that anymore. This means exposing my heart to those that know me intimately as well as complete strangers. People need and desire to know that others have had similar experiences, similar pains, even similar joys. It makes us all feel more normal. It gives us validation. It makes us feel that what we have endured has not been for naught.

It also helps to see how others cope. We must keep the mindset that we have all been created by a Creator with our own set of gifts, skill sets, and experiences. But in celebrating these differences, we can find strength in how God has woven Himself into these events to bring a greater good. We can find strength in knowing there is a bigger picture which we can not see. We can find strength in knowing that a finality of dirt and worms just isn't all there is.

A post like Remember the End, selfishly serves as therapy for me. The million-pound burden on my shoulders was lifted when I wrote it. The story was finally out, no longer at the surface in a constant state of bubbling. Stories like these bring people together, to laugh, to cry, to work through their own life's stories. And, maybe they draw strength to face their own giants.

So, yeah, it might have been a little too close for comfort, full with emotion and transparency. Highs, lows and in between...sometimes, it just needs to be personal.


Victoria said...

This post feels like a pep talk for anyone (such as myself) that follows Christ out on a limb and then needs to remind themselves of why they went out there. Saying something is too personal is just an excuse to remain comfortable...and I'm right there with you, sick of comfy and ready for real! Keep it up!

Jewels said...

would that we could all be so real. I love you, Kelsey-girl.