leaving good things behind…

GEG-featured-imageYou know when there’s something good that needs to happen, but whatever that good thing is requires a painful loss? I’m feeling it today. A grief borne of a transition I’d rather not experience. And that transition? It’s good, right and what-needs-to-happen. The fact is, even positive and needed transition is painful.

If you’ve spent any amount of time on earth, you know that transition is what we do here, like it or not. Friends move cross-country for better jobs or to be closer to family. Little ones head off to kindergarten. Big ones to college. Unhealthy relationships dissolve. All good, all needed…but not without loss. Something to be celebrated is ahead…but something that filled a space in your life is being left behind. A season is over. You lose the way things WERE. And it takes time for those future benefits to flow in and fill the emptiness with which your past circumstance leaves you.

But it seems to me this culture we live in doesn’t want people to grieve for too long, especially if there’s an expectation for good things to come. Some of us don’t know what to do with others’ grief; it makes us feel helpless. Maybe someone is so in-over-their-head with their own loss, they can’t bear another ounce of sadness. It’s also a stark and frightening reminder of the heartache that makes its way to all of us, eventually.

I get all that. I do. But like one of the wisest dudes ever to be noted in history wrote, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven…”. And that includes  seasons for tearing down, crying, grieving, turning away, and losing…just to name a few.

Can we agree to extend each other this courtesy? Let’s not rush each other. Don’t rush me through the grief of having close friends move away. Don’t rush your friend out of the loss she feels as an “empty nester”. Don’t rush yourself, the ache you feel when you see That Thing You Loved fading into the distance behind you. Even if you can see the hope waiting at the opposite end of this transitory road, don’t rush the journey. Pretty sure I’ll adjust, in time. Pretty sure you will too.

But before I move on to what looks to be a Fairly Decent Chapter Ahead, let me acknowledge the grief I have at leaving behind the awesomeness of That Last Awesome Chapter. Acknowledge that it may be a long and painful journey getting to that next chapter. Just squeeze my hand and say, “It’s hard. I get it. Good things lie ahead.”

I promise to do the same for you.

3 thoughts on “leaving good things behind…

    • Love this. You have captured it so perfectly. I remember Molly really struggling with her class assignment this year because most of her close friends were in a different class. I told her she would soon make new friends but she still mourned those changing relationships with her oldest and dearest friends. And why not?! In my own life, I have often sat clinging to the remnants and memories of the past as I am strapped to the seat of the roller coaster with my eyes closed tight. How I wish that for just a few seconds I could pause time (or even rewind) to really savor every last morsel of goodness from this present. Most days I do not feel brave enough to tackle the future and it is really hard to see the near and future joys to come. May we all be willing to sit with each other as we look over the brink of the next hill and tell each other it is okay to be remembering the past. And also, I am here for you when you need someone. I will not be a replacement for the dear friends you are missing, but I will sit with you and try to listen and make you laugh. (((hugs)))

  1. I walking beside a friend going thru great grief over the unexpected loss of her husband at 53. It’s awful and al l I can do is sit with her and listen. It’s hard and it’s holy. There’s absolutely no rush. No way. Great words Jana. Thank you.

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