I wrote this recently as a status update on my Facebook page : There are moments when deep, deep sorrow wells up and all you can do is embrace it, let it flow over and through you, and then find a way to stitch around the edges of that particular grief. Working on that today. Will probably need to work on it again.
Just about two years ago I got word that my job with a national church organization was coming to an end. It sent me into a virtual emotional tailspin. I recently saw a friend’s post about this organization and how their parish was going to support it through Lent and it hit me again. I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I realized that it still hurts. That I am still working on processing this loss. That I am still angry for the way I was treated. That I have never received any acknowledgement from those in senior positions that I was treated badly. That it could have been different.
I have written a lot about grief and loss during the two years that I have been blogging and I suspect that I will write more. It is part of the human condition to have losses and figure out how to move through them and come out reasonably healthy on the other side. I suspect that I write a lot about sorrow and loss because I have had my fair share and I have witnessed much from my life as a clergy spouse. You can’t be that close to a priest like the dear one and not hear from time to time how someone died, how the family is dealing with it. the latest sorrow in someone’s life or be asked to pray for a situation that involves grief. Most situations that I get asked to pray about involve grief or loss of some kind.
I have learned over the years that it is better for me to let the tears roll down my face, to rant at God, to lament loudly and then quietly, to be all emotion rather than to try and contain it and then find the calm. For when I do try to contain my sorrows I become a not nice person. It seems that I have been created to be the feeling one. The one who shares sorrow as well as joy. Here is what I have also learned about deep sorrows that one can’t wish them away or pray them away, that one has to learn to live with them and hold them and make them part of oneself. My sorrows as much as my joys have made me the person I am today. They have deepened my faith and strengthened my relationships. They have allowed me to love better and to serve better. They have opened me up to the injustices in the world and made me want to do something about them. In the end they have become blessings and not curses.
As a person of faith, even when my faith is sometimes ragged and lived out on the edges, I will continue to embrace my sorrows and my joys for the make me who God needs me to be in the world. A person who cares deeply and well. A person who lives life and doesn’t shy away from it. A person who has deep sorrows and deep joys.