About ten years ago, my friend Kristi said something to me that has helped me a billion plus times in all the days since.
She said, ”keep on walking.”
Walking? To where?
A country road? A hiking trail? Around a lake?
Maybe. But, her reference was to life. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have a tendency to get stuck and stay stuck.
- stuck in habits
- stuck in routines
- stuck in grudges
- stuck in whatever it happens to be
Fine and fair enough, I mean this is life we’re talking about. In all of those instances, I’ve grabbed onto her advice with both hands, and have pulled myself along, eventually gaining on getting un-stuck.
But, what about grief with its raw and real ride? There are numerous potholes, substantial downpours, and giant ruts.
When I was in high school, my friends and I would venture out on a dirt road, west of town. When we had lot of rain, the road became a sloppy mess. Guess who got stuck almost every time? And, guess what we did.
Cell phones weren’t even invented then. We stepped into slimy mud, sometimes up to our knees, but we’d didn’t stay sitting in the truck, just waiting. We walked.
Today, I find myself thinking about if it’s even possible to keep on walking through grief.
In past losses, I long-jumped my way over all the hard stuff and right into the missing. Other losses I didn’t even deal with until years later. Forget walking, I ran right around those, straight to the finish line, whew, done.
This time, it’s not the same though. It’s my momma. I’m trying to approach her loss differently. Instead of skimming right over it, I’m sitting in it. Like a potato in a stew.
I don’t want to face all this in ten or fifteen years, I want to do it now. So, is the ’sitting in it’ of grief comparable to being stuck?
Sadness, missing, emotions, wishing, replaying, longing, thinking about, loving, memories?
I don’t think so. Those things are what make a loss fluid and moving. We don’t stay in say, replaying what happened forever, we might move on to thinking about or sadness or memories. That’s not what I call stuck. To me, that’s growth and healing.
I do think it’s possible to keep on walking through grief and I also think it’s possible to ’keep on walking and growing’ through it, too.
Thanks for reading.