November 30: The “Luxury” of My Grief

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I have become painfully aware that my ability to take time for my grief, to process this hell, is a “luxury,” relatively speaking.  Hear me out…

One of the book clubs I’m involved with is reading Jen Hatmaker’s book “For The Love.” (Not that I am keeping up well with any book these days; fortunately, I read ahead, back in September). One of her chapters addresses universal truth: that we need to examine what we believe and whether it is really a truth that applies equally across the board. She says this: if [what I believe] isn’t also true for a poor, single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.  Then she adds: If a sermon promises health and wealth to the faithful, it isn’t true, because that theology makes God an absolute monster who only blesses rich westerners and despises Christians in Africa, India, China, South America…rural Appalachia, inner-city America [etc.]… Theology is either true everywhere or it isn’t true anywhere.

So, maybe this is totally unrelated.

BUT.

I am aware that most grieving moms in the world still have to get up (maybe off the dirt/floor, off the flea-infested “mattress”) and go to work – in a factory, on the streets, in the fields – or they/their family will starve. Many women in the world have more kids than I do, they don’t have the freedom I do…to sit in the basement and cry, and write. To then take a long walk around the lake before a long shower (more crying), maybe eat lunch (breakfast occurred or didn’t, somewhere along the line) and wander into work at some point. Then to wander home and see what Blue Apron – the antidote for those devoid of meal planning and shopping ability – delivered for me to fix for dinner, if I have energy.

I honestly don’t know how I’d survive. I’d like to think I would. But my employer is actually my husband, and he’s a nice guy, vs. someone (an ass? a businessman? someone who is barely surviving himself?) who would value my productivity over my humanity.

I realize it is foolish to compare myself to others for any purpose. We are all here on our individual journeys, and yet interconnected …tied to one another in the web of humanity and environment. Nothing we do occurs in a vacuum.  I can and should be mindful, grateful for the “privilege” (teeth gritting) of having room to grieve as I feel I must (or go insane…truly) to process this great, great loss.  But maybe….all this space actually does me less good in the long run, lengthens the process to the point of incapacity…?

All thoughts halt. This isn’t helping anyone.

No.  Nope.

We are sisters. We are sister-mothers. The pain is the same, the weight is the same. The only difference is how long we have – or give ourselves – to cradle it without distraction, before we must carry it forward. To those who have no time to rest, I wish I could give you some of mine. I hope you can occasionally go out and look at the blue blue sky, the sun, the stars, and weep…but also know that God is working especially hard to wrap you in knowing, tender love.

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