During the summer of 2011, I participated in a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). Each week our small group would gather together to explore different concepts that were a part of our learning. Grief was one of the topics that we explored, and grief was something that I was also personally struggling with… something I’d been struggling with for many years. I wrote the following short reflection after watching a video entitled “The Gifts of Grief”… and after I wrote it, I realized that I had found an image I could use that would help me in my struggle with grief… not only past grief, but that which would come in the future. I share this reflection with you… it is part of the story of my life:
Grief brings gifts? I am not sure that I have found any specific gifts coming from my grief…as the people in the video have.
At this point I know that my deepest grief comes from Lemmy’s death. It is a deep, deep well, full of pure sadness and loss. It cannot be analyzed, evaluated or explained away…it just is.
The grief of other losses add to it…they add to this “well”…they broaden it and deepen it even more…until all losses, all griefs merge together and overflow the boundaries of the “well”.
I find myself approaching the edge slowly, especially as I am now dealing with events happening in my mother’s life. Where is she on her journey through life? Is she getting close to final, physical death…or just getting closer to losing one thing at a time…to dying “little by little”?
And I am not really sure if I want to approach this “well”. I get close to the ever changing edge…I back away…maybe I should want to dive in and swim deep, but all I want to do is to escape…
And I wonder, because I am not sure if I can dive in and swim deep until my mom does finally die…