Blankets

We live in an old house.  All winter, it proves a cold, old house.  We (my daughter and I) spend six months–not longer, if we’re lucky– wrapped in blankets with heaters at our feet as we read, watch tv, work on computers or even, on the coldest days, sit at the dining room table. And now, as spring creeps closer and the temperatures rise, we start to throw off our extra wrappings. What I find, however, during this flirt with spring, is that the air only warms for a few days then slides back down and we’re chilled. Again. And turn to our blankets and extra layers.

Grief, I’m continuing to learn, although painful, feels like God’s blanket on icy cold days. If we try to ignore grief or deny it or move through it too quickly, we’re left shivering, cold and numb. But when we embrace the grief and even pull it tighter around us, we’re comforted.

Matthew 5:4 “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

I miss my Dad. As the six-month anniversary of his death nears, I find myself in the midst of sadness and tears. Again. As time passes, I don’t need to wear the blanket of grief as often, but just when I’ve thrown it off for a few hours or days, a cold wind whips through and I’m chilled again grasping for the grief-shroud.

I {we as a family} are still in the strange winter/spring of grieving Dad.  But grief isn’t limited to a loss through death. I’m struck by how much grief is part of our entire human experience. It’s been two years since I quit my business and closed my shop and I’m still grieving. My third child will be heading off to college in the fall and I’m already grieving (yet rejoicing) in my changing family. We grieve those we’ve lost through death, but we also grieve those relationships lost through misunderstanding or relocation or neglect. We grieve the loss of jobs, the loss of health, the loss of youth. If we’ve suffered abuse, we grieve the loss of innocence and safety.

We all experience loss and we all need to grieve. We’re masters at pain-avoidance and yet the healing only comes through the sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes painful grief blanket.  The enemy, and our own inner voice, tells us our loss isn’t that bad. It was just a miscarriage… just a friendship… just a business…just a job…just a dream…just a little money…just a little abuse…. If we minimize the loss we throw off the blanket of grief casting it aside. We’re left cold and exposed without protection.  Minimizing our loss and the trauma it brings, only delays the healing.

But those who “use” the grief-who take comfort in this strange provision- are the blessed mourners who find hope, healing and redemption even amid the hurt.

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2 Replies to “Blankets”

  1. Thanks for sharing. We went through a long period of grief over the loss of my father-in-law…more than simply him…a way of life, having traveled up to the U.P. of Michigan for 20 years on Christmas, Thanksgiving and whenever the urge took us…now, crossing the Mighty Mac is rare…and we share the experience of the need for polar fleece blankets and we utilize 3 cats and a redbone coonhound to increase warmth over the winter months…may God bless your healing.

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