Monday, August 31, 2009

Time for a little honesty...

So...after an exchange of emails over the last couple of days with a friend (and you know who you are) and some (OK, a lot) of introspection, I think the time has come to not only be honest with myself but you, my blogging "family" as well.

And since it's Monday, I will begin with this video...

**Scroll down and pause my player before clicking the link**

Motions ~ Matthew West

Going through the motions. That's been my life for these past 9+ months.

As Christians, we speak of "transparency." Exposing our true selves - faults, warts and all. Letting others see the ugly parts of us that we normally keep tucked away so they won't think less of us. Deep breath...

People ask me how I'm doing. I say "fine." Or "hanging in there, thanks for asking." But that's not being honest. It's telling them what they want to hear, what they want to believe because after 9 months I should be OK, right? After all, I'm not the first woman to lose a husband...sigh.

The truth is:

I feel like my life ended when my Sweet Hubby's did. I have no interest in anything, I don't have any energy or motivation to do anything. I work when I feel up to it, but definitely can't even consider it part time. I am withdrawing from everyone and everything. And I just really don't care...I may smile on the outside but I feel dead on the inside. I guess feeling nothing is the same as feeling dead, isn't it?

Someone emailed me today that they check my blog if they don't hear from me knowing that if something were really wrong it would be on my blog. Nothing could be further from the truth!! Because the truth is ugly...see? Why would I want anyone to really know how (or how little, actually) I'm feeling? They might see that I (gasp!) don't have it all together. That I'm actually quite a big mess, in fact.

I'm a walking catastrophe mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I feel like in my present state of being, I let everyone down. My family, my friends, my husband and my God. I want to do better...but then again - I just don't care. I don't have the wherewithal to do anything about it. What a crossroads, huh?

I've always been a strong-willed person. Ask anyone who knows me - they'll tell you...this is not my normal state. I'm a "get in the trenches and do what you need to do" type of person. I've never been afraid to get dirty. And things got plenty dirty when my Sweet Hubby got sick.

But since I lost him, I feel like I've lost everything. We shared everything. Now, I share nothing...

I'm just going through the motions.

So like the song said...I don't care if I break - at least I'll be feeling something. And something's got to be better than nothing. Right?

I've been mulling over posting about all of this since receiving two specific emails from GriefShare:
Express your tears and your pain. In order to move on, you cannot push down and pocket your emotions; they must be fully communicated for you to heal.

"Everyone cries," says Dr. H. Norman Wright. "Everyone sheds tears. Some people do it on the outside, but some are only capable of doing it on the inside. From a health perspective, the shedding of tears is very beneficial to physical well-being.

"The people who are unable or haven't developed the capacity to cry are carrying a heavier load of emotion that can actually contribute to some physical difficulties. I don't think you should ever apologize for your tears because you never apologize for something that is a gift from God."

Pull out your emotions. Face the pain head-on. Mourn loudly. Weep bitterly. Be set free.

When Peter realized he had disowned Jesus three times, he "went outside and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:62). When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, died, devout men "made loud lamentation over him" (Acts 8:2 NASB).

Holy God, I'm so adept at pushing down my emotions that I don't know how to pull them up, but I know that I must. Give me the opportunity and the courage to let my emotions pour out freely. Amen.
"Don't imagine that you're gonna tough this out and make it all by yourself," says Dr. Jim Conway.

Do you have a person with whom you can share your innermost feelings about your loss? Take action to find someone. Often it is helpful to find someone who has experienced a loss similar to your own.

Pray first that God will direct you. Then make a list of family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers with whom you might share. Pick up the phone and plan a time to meet and talk. You might also call your local church and explain that you just need someone to talk to about your situation. Another idea is to find a grief support group where you can share, ventilate, talk, and find support from others who can truly relate.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

Lord, direct me to the person You want me to have as a friend and confidant during this time of grief. Amen.

So I've prayed about it...and prayed about it some more. Which leads me here, to today's post and sharing this with you. Because I don't want to go through the motions. And I don't want to pretend anymore.

There. Warts exposed.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Oh Dear Gigi,

I LOVED this post. I love your transparency. There is no shame or condemnation in being real. What you are experiencing is Grief. As devastating and horrible and numbing as it is, it is natural and normal. It's the way God made us. You would not be human if you weren't going through this. And 9 months is a very, very, very short time. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Do what you have to do to get by for now..."There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
I was at a meeting once where a woman shared her grief regarding the loss of her son. She said she cried and cried and it seemed the tears would never stop. She asked the Lord what He was going to do about all of her tears. He told her, "I am bottling your tears and using them to water your soul." Psalm 56:8
Gigi, you are precious in His sight. This Blog is a ministry, especially with your raw truth. It is the truth that sets us free. I pray rest and peace for you today. I look forward to the day when you are able to see how God is going to use you...He has and is ministering through you, even in your desert, even though you feel dead inside. As I said before, I don't pretend to be able to understand what it is like to lose a love like you had. But I have experienced numbing grief. I have had long seasons of feeling dead inside. Watching my parents die within 8 months of each other led to a grief like that but I didn't begin experiencing it until over a year after their passing. I thought I had it all together and I needed to be a testimony by showing how thankful and happy I still was despite the loss of my parents. Then I lost it after that. You can't escape what you are going through. You just have to get through it. And you WILL get through it. There will be joy again in your life. There will be streams in your desert. You will blossom and flourish again one day. You will be different, but you will be even more beautiful because of what God has brought you through. And He will. He will. I believe that with all of my being.

Love from your sister in Charlotte,

Jody said...

I don't have anything profound to add but will say that grief is numbing and can be for a very long time. I asked my mom at my last visit if the second year was different than the first after my dad(her husband) died. She said it is not better it just is. Admitting to a community of believers is a step in the right direction. Isn't that what the church is for? Weep with those who weep? Not just for today but until the weeping stops. I wish there was some "recipe" for getting rid of the numbness that goes along with unexplainable grief. You already know it is God's Word, but I will also suggest to just do the next thing. Don't look to tomorrow, none of us are promised our next breath. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I think I know who your friend is that you've been emailing back and forth with.

I don't have much to add to what the other ladies have said. Just know that you're not alone and nobody is expecting anything from you. You and God alone know how you really feel, and nobody has the right to judge you or expect more than you have to offer right now.

Your new "normal" will come in God's time as you work this out with His help and a lot of love and acceptance from your family and friends.

Love and hugs,


Jess said...

Well hello honesty....

I sooo know how you feel about being transparent. I am about to post a new will find more honesty i think in it.

I'm so glad you were able to let the skeletons out. It does fell better doesn't it?

I do have to ask...are you seeing a Christian counselor? Or therapist? Maybe that could be another step for you. You are very normal and you seem to be grieving and not ignoring it....but you de seem depressed....which is also normal! LOL

You know I love you, and you have touched my heart alot not only in the time I have known you but just in the last few months.

I do hope you get better and soon. Plus I hope i do too!

Lots of love

Greg said...

Please don't feel bad about how you've been coping, Gigi. I won't pretend to know what it feels like, and I don't think I have any great advice to give, except the image of only one set of footprints in the sand... when Jesus is carrying you. :) He knew all this would happen, and He still has a plan for you. And even now, your posts are ministering to so many of your readers. :)

Farrah said...

Speaking out about how you really feel is a wonderful way to assist in the healing process. When my health was much worse I talked and talked and talked to God, Hubby, a dear friend of mine . . . Asked for prayer lots. Cried lots. I remember feeling guilt, too. Thinking I was such a failure in so many ways, because I couldn't seem to get over my struggle with fear about the future, etc. But that's what God's people are there for, to help each other through the hard things and rejoice together through the happy things. I will be praying for you. :-)