Grief Spirals

A friend posted this quote on Facebook this morning and it’s exactly how every grieving person feels, but can never vocalize:

“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?

But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?

How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”  (C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed)

Dad’s birthday ended up being just fine. It was definitely a case of anticipation being far worse than the day itself. It’s those random, unexpected moments of grief that catch me off guard. Caleb and I looked through my baby book today; he lit up with a huge grin at every picture of my mom. He always smiles at my dad’s photos with a friendly smile, like, “Oh, hey there, friend!” Even still, I started crying as he looked at the pictures. He’ll only ever know dad’s smile through those pictures and he’ll only ever be able to imagine what his laugh sounded like, his hugs felt like, and how awfully scratchy his face could be!

But that is all part of grieving. Whether you’d lost a loved one, had a miscarriage, lost a job, been homeless, or felt lonely (the list of things worth grieving goes on and on), there are certain things you have to accept will never happen.

Instead, we have to find those things that can bring us joy in the midst of grief. When I get sad about all the things Caleb and my dad will miss doing together, I remember these pictures and know everything is working out just the way it should.



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