I have been thinking about all the referrals I have gotten to help someone who is experiencing the darkness of grief. I deeply appreciate those who contact me regarding a friend, or a family member you know would benefit from my services. Please don't stop referring, but realize there is a timing factor involved.
As I sit here and recall an array of conversations I have had with those who reach out to let me know; they know somebody who could benefit from the tools I offer, I have to stress a very uncomfortable fact.
There is the Book of Ecclesiates. Some consider it a book of knowledge. I have to agree with them. I will copy & paste it so you can read what it says.
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Let that sink in for a moment. "A Time for Everything."
You see, as part of the human race, I believe we are each given the ability to love and care about others. I see it every day. Someone dies, my phone rings or I get a message that somebody knows someone who needs my services. I agree with them. Grief is hard work and it does take the willingness of the person hurting to wants to be well.
The challenge is, that if I jump in there too soon, and they have not endured that appointed time to allow the pain to motivate them for change and healing, I would do more harm than good. I have gotten calls before the funeral has taken place, and for me to contact someone prior to attending the memorial service, would be so invasive to the person grieving. Grief is a tender spot that we carry inside of our hearts. People do need a little time to process their pain, depending on their circumstances, relationship, and how the death occurred.
I have been looking at death for more than 20+ years, and believe me when I say, it can really bring out an abundance of pain and hurt. I have witnessed families that pull together, and I have witnessed families destroy one another when a death occurs.
We, as humans, instinctively want to do 'something' to help those we care about. Especially when we know their heart is broken. The best way I can describe it is to compare a human to a caterpillar.
Envision the small caterpillar, crawling along, minding his daily business and going nowhere very slowly. Suddenly, he finds himself inside a tiny, dark cocoon. There is quite a metamorphis of change happening inside that dark, tiny and cramped cocoon. The struggle is real to say the least. Yet if I were to barge in, and help the caterpillar get out, he would never be able to fly. The struggle of that pain, in that dark space, is needed to help strengthen and prepare him for the changes ahead.
Another scenario would be if you have a friend or a family member who you may perceive as someone who struggles with an addiction. Fear is usually the first emotion to take a hold of you, as you may fear this person you care about end up in jail, driving while under the influence, or worse: they may end up in a car accident or kill innocent people.
You may want to take control as you observe their lives spinning out of control. So, you may arrange for them to speak to a counselor. Or, you may drag them to a recovery center and have them speak to an AA Sponcor. So they may have no choice but to go and attend, only to sit there begrungingly, thinking to themselves, "I don't have a drinking problem and I am NOT like these people." It boils down to that old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
As your fear mounds, you may get that dreaded call that they have been in a car accident. They are injured, but alive. Sadly and tragically, the family in the other vehicle did not survive. An entire family of four innocent people, a father, a mother, a son and an infant daughter - gone in an instant.
Maybe now that there is some substantial amount of pain involved for the person you drug to those meetings, the recovery centers, and counselors, they realize hat they are in immense pain, and are now ready to take some action to regain a healthy lifestyle.
This is normally where someone like myself would come in to assist in their recovery. Their pain has reached that point of them no longer able to bear. Now their own fears are taking root, and the remorse of never being able to say how sorry they are, or maybe to acknowledge something they never said, or maybe they need to simply forgive someone. There is usually a lot of emotional tapes that play over and over after a death occurs. Most of our society have never been handed the tools on how to grieve in a healthy manner.
Here in America, we are literally given three days of bereavement and expected to be over it in order to return to our jobs, and get back to normal. How is that even possible? Our world has literally been upheaved, shattered, torn to pieces and deep down, we know without a doubt, we will never see things go back to the way they were prior to the death.
Most of us need time to allow what is known as "the brain fog" to lift. We tend to go numb, unable to concentrate, sleep or eat normally for a while. Slowly, the reality of what happened begins to settle. Then, our grief is triggered by a birthday, anniversary, holiday or a song. A huge wave of grief slams us over and over until the pain becomes unbearable. Maybe we try to replace the loss, or we eat our emotions and our health begins to deteriorate. We all fall in to the same old traps and find ourselves drinking to ease the pain, and convince ourselves by saying, "It's only a glass of wine and just for tonight." We are so full of hurt, pain and guilt, we begin to hurt those we love the most as our hearts are so full of a life time of loss and hurt. It spills over every time we speak. (Ever heard the phrase, 'Out of the mouth, the heart speaks')?
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to maintain control over myself NOT to interfere with the pain of my own friends and family members. I understand that need to help, and yet, even I struggle. I usually end up on my knees, pleading for God to stay with them until His timing allows them to reach out for help. Sometimes, it takes years. I sometimes ask myself, "I wonder if they just think I don't care enough to reach out to them?" Then I go back to the book of Ecclesiates and I have to trust in God's timing.
I have simply come to realize that I am merely called to be a vessel; an instrument, that God has chosen to use, but it will only be in His Divine Timing. He is the one who pursues, not me. He knows that we get angry with Him, we blame Him, and we want nothing to do with Him. Yet He is patient, as He answers prayers we haven't even prayed yet.
I hope this tidbit of information helps you to understand my 'why' I don't chase people down to receive my services. I just want to know they are truly ready to receive the healing and that they want to be well. I don't want to try to put on a cast before someone breaks a bone. There's no point in that. Once that break happens, they are ready to receive whatever it takes to ease the pain. Once the pain subsides, the healing occurs, and they are now ready to explore the purpose of that deep pain.
I have personally witnessed a vast amount of people who have endured some of the most intense losses in their lives, only to use it a launching pad, to serve someone else in their own pain and suffering. This is by far, the biggest payoff for me. I have that front row seat, and somehow, God himself, has given me that same purpose. He used my own pain to launch me into the uncharted waters of real, raw grief. Now I can relate to that pain. I can give that compassion, care, and help people see things they may not be able to see until our journey through that valley of the shadow of death is behind them.
If you find yourself, having gone through some deep, dark pain, and you're ready for that time of healing, please know that I too am ready to come alongside of you. Together, we can discover your purpose from your pain.
From my heart to yours,
Kim - The Grief Lady