Good Grief

The little booklet Good Grief  by Granger E. Westberg begins like this:

We spend a good portion of our lives working diligently to acquire those things that make life rich and meaningful—friends, a wife or husband, children, a home, a job, material comforts, money (let’s face it), and security. What happens to us when we lose any one of these persons or things which are so important to us?

Quite naturally we grieve over the loss of anything important. Sometimes if the loss is great, the very foundations of our life are shaken, and we are thrown into deep despair.

4 Comments on “Good Grief

  1. Christine-how do we recover? Just as you said in another reference, recovery is not the ‘period at the end of a sentence’. I dont think you will wake up one day and say ‘Im healed. Im recovered. Its all OK’. Recovery is a process–a lifelong one. Hopefully, you will be ‘in recovery’ from this trauma forever. Just as an alcoholic recovers day by day. Forever.

    There is no cure for trauma. There is recovery. There is hope. And peace will come. And its only thru the process of recovery, that those things can be found.

    As for Gabes poem on Family Reunions. Gabe didnt have the awareness that ALL families have pain. All families are not perfect. All families have gone thru a ‘ruinous’ situation. Why did he not know that? Because most families dont TALK about their pains and hurts and struggles. We want everyone to believe that we are OK. We want to be perceived as the perfect person, the perfect family and that we all live in a perfect world. And we dont.

    And that is why Ive learned that TALKING about our pains and ruinous situations help. It helps us. It helps others. Ive learned to feel perfectly imperfect, living in a perfectly imperfect world along with perfectly imperfect people. Im in good company!

    Keep talking. Keep questioning, crying, paining, discovering, processing and recovering. The road is long and hard and it never ends. But it gets easier.


  2. Judy,

    What beautiful thoughts!

    As to why Gabe didn’t know that all families experience brokenness, I think he did, but as you know collectively our extended family sort of collapsed in short order over the past few years. We are all trying to put the pieces back together.

    Also, he was living, both at home and at school, in a particular type of Christian community that can tend to celebrate an illusion of people and families having it all together.

    I think, from observation, that this is where your Catholic faith does a better job of acknowledging human frailty through confession, eucharist, etc.


  3. So much here. The world cannot hold all the thoughts, the wonderings, the conclusions of grief observed, of grief shot through our deepest places.

  4. L.L.,

    I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts when we’re together again. I know you’ll press me onward : ) and away from lazy thinking of any sort!

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