A Time to Mourn

Sometimes we don't realize that buried with in one loss are many.  We may wonder why it takes so long to grieve.  Perhaps we don't truly recognize all we have lost with our illnesses . The days of great of sorrow mean we also had great days of joy: to miss much is to have loved much … 

A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4

two girls mourning.jpg

I've been doing a lot of reading lately.  Friends have blessed me with wonderful books - mostly about grief and mourning - that I am slowly working through.

I read something in the book, Through a Season of Grief, (link below) by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard that made so much sense to me that I wondered why I'd not read something like it before or even thought about it before,

It was about loss - and the holes it creates in our lives … in our selves … in our world.  But it looked at loss a bit differently.

It seemed the words were directed to those who had lost a spouse, but I quickly realized it also applied so well to life with chronic illness.

As in the loss of a spouse who has played many roles in your life that are suddenly gone, chronic illness steals much from us.  It's my belief that it is important for us to recognize each loss, mourn them, and give them each to our Lord.

My tendency is to lump things all together - but chronic illness has many faces - and manifests itself differently in many ways.

I have said before that I miss my former life.  But I realize that there were many, many things that fit there.

I miss my job.  It was a job that was a dream job for me.  Yet, within that loss were many other losses.  I lost the camaraderie of the people I worked with.  I lost the joy of working with the children I had grown to love.  I lost my identity … my "what do you do?"  Yes, I lost a paycheck as well, but that seems small in light of the other losses.  Yet, I must mourn each loss.

I lost my mobility.  And that holds many losses with in it.  The ability to go out to eat. The ability to go with friends without a LOT of planning.  I could go on and on.

Those are only examples.  The books suggestion was to look at each loss, list them, and bring them to God.  We need to acknowledge each loss.  And mourn them.

It initially seemed overwhelming.  But now, as I've begun to make that list, it gives me a deeper look into just why the mourning goes so deep.

My consolation?  In order for me to have lost as much as I have, I had to be blessed with much in the beginning.  There has been so much joy in my life, often unrecognized at the time.  Yes, there is loss - counterbalanced with joy.

It has made it easier for me to recognize the joys that are still there.  I want to cling to them, thanking God - knowing they could be removed at any time for whatever reason.

Loss and gratitude now coexist hand-in-hand in my life.

If you are looking to your losses today - take the time to mourn each aspect of it.  Make a list if you need to. Take the time you need to weep. Recognize that yes, you have lost much.  

Then take the time to go before your Lord and thank Him for the many blessings He gave to you, even if now lost, and for each new blessing that finds its way to You through Him.  

The time to laugh again and dance again will come even if it seems impossible now.

Father God, Thank you for all you have done in our lives.  Thank you for the gifts.  And as we travel the path of loss, help us to mourn those losses, but to keep our eyes on You.  Amen and amen.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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