photo by: Shirley/Wales/October 2007
Unhealthy Stuffing
originally written &
posted 26 Nov 09
Talking with someone last night, I was told that how they deal with a painful situation…how they get past it, is that they don’t talk about it.  This person’s perspective was that as long as people don’t bring it up, they’re fine.

Well, not meaning any disrespect, but if you cannot talk about a situation without crying, you are not yet “fine.”  You are still grieving.

Many in this world will tell you to stuff your emotions down and move ahead, often before your heart is ready.  

I’ve “chewed” on this conversation all night and this morning. 
The words simply do not "ring true" compared to what I’m learning from my Heavenly Father.

Pain cannot be avoided in this life.  I have seen people try to avoid the pain by not facing the situation completely.  I have even been one to try that.  The trouble is, that pain, when not dealt with properly and fully, will always resurface in some manner.

Many have the opinion that tears are bad…but tears have a purpose…
they are cleansing.

Right now there are tears.  There is pain and sometimes weeping when dealing with everyday moments that remind us of our loved one who has gone to Heaven ahead of us.  But in time, as we work through the pain and we get to the other side of it, those memories will instead bring smiles.  Our remembering will be more joyful than painful.  We will always miss her…but we will not always be crippled by the pain.

I cannot agree with the advice to put the emotions aside and move on…not before the mourning is done.  Emotions were meant to be expressed.  One way or another, they will make an appearance.  Pain, if you leave it inside, will be like acid, eating away at your heart, causing bitterness and a hardness that does not allow you to grow and mature in healthy ways.
Tears help us flush out the pain.

I’ve noticed curiously that people who work through their grief creatively have a faster pace of healing…a faster track to that place when they can talk about their painful situation without weeping.  It’s like they are using their creativity as a funnel to pour the pain through.  Their moments of joy in the remembering come sooner.  My usual creative expression is writing.  But when I was deep in the grief…I was stuck…I couldn’t write.  God provided another method of dealing with my pain.  I HAD to work on those videos** I made after Anna left this world for Heaven…it was an urge I could not ignore.  I often could not rest until they were done.  I found that combining the songs that were ministering to my heart with some of my photos to make videos was very therapeutic for me.  I wept through much the process…
but it was helping me heal.

Some in our family seem to be healing faster…but there are some who are still deep in mourning.  We cannot tell them to move on if they are not ready…
not if we are to live as our Father prescribed.  

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
Romans 12:15

The following verse instructs us to live in harmony with one another.  It’s a careful and tricky balance between the rejoicing and the mourning…but I believe it’s worth the effort it takes to find that balance.   The rejoicing will come in time…right now the mourning is not complete.

I’ve pushed my emotions down and tried to “return to normal” quickly when I’ve faced grief in the past.  My pain, however, would not be dissuaded…and years later, when close friends went through a similar loss…it all resurfaced, the grief road loomed and the pain was fresh in our hearts as if it was happening to us all over again.  My husband and I realized we had not fully grieved the miscarriage of our second baby.  This time we allowed ourselves to grieve…allowed ourselves to mourn…and now, that pain is no longer breathtaking.

On this Thanksgiving morning, as our family prepares the traditional feast…and the pain of this past year’s traumatic events are like shadows lurking in the corner, this thought popped into my head:

It’s appropriate to stuff your turkey…
but stuffing your emotions will always lead to heartburn.

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These are the videos that I've worked on and have been helpful in working through the pain:

Broken Hallelujah

You Wouldn't Cry for Me



Hold My Heart

Keep Singing

Your Hands