by Brigitte. I like to read and write about Christian faith and a variety of subjects. I live in Canada.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Grief work/books/death/marriage breakdown
People have given us a number of books to help us deal with "grief".
Personally, I feel I have enough things to work with, help me, with what I have all the time: my Bible, my hymnbook, my Luther.
I keep coming back to Job's story, where no real answer is offered, except: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."
I think this, too, in relation to some relatives and relationships and things that have have been quite wrong: "They've given and they've taken; may the Lord bless them."
And I just about forgot this one: "I've given and I've taken; may the Lord and the others forgive me, too."
This sounds kind of pious or fatalistic, but there is really no choice. If there were choices, it would be a different matter.
On the other hand, it is not about us. It is for the young man we grieve. It is for what was good and right, that is gone, for which we grieve, and for what could have been. He is not with us. He could not work on his dreams. Still, it is like my brother-in-law Herbert told me: "It is we who are left behind who still struggle." So, it's about us, too.
We have our memories and they are like that famous two-edged sword; they comfort and they cut. They make us laugh and they make us cry. They hit us out of nowhere, like a ton of bricks or a ray of light.
Like Gerald said, your memories cannot sustain you. In fact, I would say--they can also very well slay, you.-- No condolence card ever says that.
Since, the last post I made earlier today, on marriage, I am thinking of my dear friends who have suffered marriage break-down. Marriage-breakdown does not seem so much an "act of God". Therefore, individuals would be more prone to blaming themselves. Individuals may never get a condolence card or presented with a book on grief. Surely, memories would not sustain a person, either.
There is this basic pain, sin, wrong, death, however, in everything that is suffered. We all need forgiveness, in different ways, the same. We all hurt, in different ways, yet the same. You might benefit from a grief book. Maybe.
These are the books that have come into our house: --A man (who's son was involved in a group killing at a party) gave us: "When Life Hurts. A Three-Fold Path to Healing" by Brian C. Stiller. I find it a good book. It broadens one's outlook and puts you on a biblical understanding. But it is said to be out of print.
--An atheist gave me "The Shack", which everyone has heard of. I started reading it. I find it basically too weird, so far. I may or may not finish it. Certainly, I'll ask the atheist what he got out of it. There may be some nuggets, since so many people think it's so great.
--Andrea bought a grief devotional book, that deals with a Bible passage every day for one year. She likes it. We may get some for others. (see pic. above) I haven't read much of it, because she's got it. Does Concordia Publishing House have anything like this? (Not that anyone has mentioned it or given it to us.) (Actually, I don't know anyone else who buys things from Concordia Publishing House besides myself. It's not too well promoted here.)
I think reading those books, might be a bit like joining a support group (which is what others have recommended). You hear the pain of others and the way they've coped. You get a little out of your own navel and see and hear others. You are certainly not alone in your grief. And you must trust God and let him work it out.