Friday, December 9, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Grief

As I walked out of church the other night, the words "I love my life" slipped out.  I was shocked, because less than one week ago I was sobbing in my room, tears streaming, "God, I hate my life."  How do you explain that?  Can it even been explained?  All I can say is: it's normal.

There are times in life when we are going to be hurting, sad, frustrated, depressed, and overwhelmed.  Almost like a situational depression comes upon you.  It lasts for moments, or a just a few days, and as quickly as it came, it leaves. 

Last week I had about 3 days of depression. We had just come home from our wonderful caribbean cruise.  I was exhausted.  My 3 year old was exhausted.  And we were both out of routine. What followed was several very difficult days.  Getting myself back in routine is one thing, but getting my son back is a whole different ball game.  After spending one full week sleeping in the same room with me, bedtime at home was now destroyed.  He wanted to sleep with me of course. And so begins the bedtime struggle.  We've had it over and over since his daddy died.

Thankfully, God continued to speak to me and encourage me, and the "down in the dumps" only lasted a few days.  I reached out to a few friends, and it helped!  Now this week, although I'm still fighting exhaustion, as we continue to work out the bed time issue, I am enjoying life again. I love my life!

As widows, we need to recognize that we are going to have these peaks and valleys.  Its normal!  We need to recognize that  there are wonderful things in our lives that can cause us to enjoy life despite our hurt and pain.  At the same time, we are constantly facing challenges, situations, and working through our grief.  We need to let ourself go through the cycles, and reach out for support from friends.  That said, we don't need to "feed" the down cycles either.  I personally feel that while the cycles are normal, we should be working through the days of depression, and not helping ourselves to get deeper into them.

When I feel the days of depression, I allow myself to cry.  I cry out to God.  I cry out to Jonathan.  I will also reach out to a friend, letting them know I am having a hard time.  I don't call for a pity party, I call for help.  I call for prayer.  I call for a listening ear.  I call because I need to talk my way through what I'm feeling.  Then I get out of the house.  I go for a run.  I go shopping.  I find some type of recreation which brings joy and takes my focus off the pain.  Most importantly I go to church! I get in His presence.  I celebrate all God has done for me! I may dance, I may cry, but something about God's presence changes my situation.  And that is why one week later I can say, "I love my life!"

We are riding an emotional roller coaster called grief.  We are going to have highs and lows, but just like a roller coaster, the highest highs, and the lowest lows are at the beginning.  As the ride continues, the highs and lows begin to balance out.  Grief will bring high highs, and low lows, but keep working it out.  Keep seeking God. Keep praying.  Life will become stable again.  It just takes time!


  1. So true. Through all of life we only learn our boundaries by exceeding them.