Grief is like a heavy vest. When you grieve, the heavy vest is put upon you. You wear it all the time. Sometimes it’s so heavy you can’t get out of bed in the morning. You can’t breathe. You feel exhausted all the time from the weight of it. After a while, you find that you can get up a little easier in the morning. You are finding it easier to function in your daily life. Others look at you and think you are “over it” or “doing much better.” The reality is that the vest is still just as heavy and you will carry it with you always. What is different is that God has given you the strength to carry it.
This meant the world to me when she shared it with me because being separated from my husband threw me into a grief I have never experienced before. I felt the literal crushing of my lungs, the exhaustion, the failure to get out of bed in the morning. It was awful. I remember the helpless and hopeless feeling I had as I would sob uncontrollably and wonder if my life will ever be “okay” again. Once I opened myself up to God’s mercy things shifted for me. Each day was a little better than the next. I actually got to the point where I would say each morning, “Well, I survived yesterday. I will survive today.” And, I did.
Today marks a painful grief anniversary for my pastor. She knows, first hand, how painful grief is. I will forever be grateful to her for sharing this analogy with me. And, although things are a bit different for me now as my husband and I work through some things, I’m still reeling from the grief. The pain of the entire situation hasn’t lessened and there is much healing to be done regardless of the outcome of my marriage. So the vest, well, the vest is still upon me. I’m just so grateful that God has given me strength to carry it.