yes, i said "good" grief. grief isn't supposed to be "good," though. at least that's what i thought.
you may wonder why i'm writting about grief when i haven't had a recent loss. well, i'll tell you...
recently, i have started attending a grief share program at my church. the reason for this, as i tell myself, is to support my sister in her grieving process. my sister doesn't know anyone at my church, and felt uncomfortable going alone. so i offered to go with her. she really needs this kind of program to deal with her grief, as nothing else is helping. my intention was to only go a few weeks while she aquainted herself with everyone in the group.
after the first class, i was quite overwhelmed by everyone's stories of grief. i began wondering if i could stay the course, even for a few weeks. i started to second guess my intentions, and contemplated NOT going back. but then my sister came to church on sunday, which was a huge surprise and a great blessing to me! and i received a beautifully handmade card from one of the program facilitators, who wrote such wonderful, encouraging words to me. once again, i reevaluated my intentions.
i decided to give it another try. by this time, i was determined to at least go for a month...for my sister.
once again, my heart strings were pulled. i was struck unexpectedly by a topic brought up on the video we watched: "secondary loss." hmmm...what did that mean? secondary loss?
what was God trying to say to me? did i miss something the first time around in my grieving process?
as we discussed the video, it came to my turn to speak. i barely touched on the fact that i was feeling secondary loss from when my parents died. especially my dad's passing, which was almost 9 years ago.
the secondary loss i was feeling wasn't really for myself, it was for my boys. that they would never get to know my dad, or have a relationship with him. i know i can talk about his life with them and show them pictures; but they will never get to hear his silly stories or hear his boisterous laugh. he will never be able to teach them how to garden or to fish or to build a birdhouse. it seems quite silly to me that i feel sad about those things. if the boys never knew him, they would never miss him. but i miss him for them, if that makes any sense.
and as i drove the 35 minutes home that night, another thing occurred to me...that i was jealous of my father-in-law's relationship with my boys. whoa! where was that coming from?!! i have been harboring anger and resentment towards my father-in-law because i wanted my boys to have that grandfather/grandson relationship that he gets to have with them...and they will never have with my dad.
enlightenment? i'd say! God has a way of placing you right where you need to be, and where He wants you to be...no matter how you try to avoid it!
i suppose that's why i called it "good" grief. it's good that God has led me to this program, even if it was by other reasons in my mind; it's good that i became aware of this deep down heart issue before it steals my joy; it's good that i can finally admit it to my husband and have someone hold me accountable for it; it's good that i can now ask God...what's the next step?