Suspended in Time

trainstation

Here I stand in the middle of two trains that fly by me at a velocity that I cannot comprehend. My feet are planted firmly to the ground like they are embedded in a block of cement.  The wind from the speed of the trains pushes my upper body forward, but my feet stay fixated to the foundation under me. I do not want to move. I want to stay exactly where I am – suspended in time feeling my grief while the trains pass by me without an acknowledgement that I am even there.

Grief is paralyzing

Grief has that way of making you feel like you are paused in that moment when your life changed forever. Everything around you keeps moving but you are paralyzed; unwilling and unable to move. 

You don’t want the trains to pass. 

You want them to stop and let you on. 

Stop and check in. 

Stop and take you for a ride. 

But they keep moving. 

And you? 

You stay suspended in time just as you were on the day it happened. 

There is a wish to change the outcome- but you can’t. 

You ache for one more moment- but the moments are gone. 

There is a desire to hear one more belly laugh- but the laughing has stopped. 

You look for one more smile- but the smiles are a memory. 

There is a craving for one more hug- but the strong arms have disappeared. 

You listen for one more whisper of your name- but the voice is gone. 

And there you are, stopped in time, as life around you carries on. Many have forgotten about that moment. But not you. You are still trying to find your way out of that moment because the pain and sorrow is so great. 

But what do you do? 

How do you get out of it? 

What is the simple formula to move you forward? 

Is there a simple formula? A formula that will carry you on among the fast pace of life and the constant movement of others? 

No, unfortunately there is no simple formula. 

It is much more complicated than that. 

Unpredictable

Grief is so unpredictable. It has a strange way of interrupting your moments of joy or paralyzing your moments of movement. The disbelief and numbness of it can turn so quickly to rage and anger. It makes you think and doubt what happened while trying to seek answers to something that is out of your control. 

You wish to move on and carry on with life like it used to be, but you can’t. That life has changed. There is an emptiness, a void that cannot easily be replaced. You are reminded at every turn, of a memory or a precious moment. Without warning, you suddenly laugh or cry. Then you stop to pause and take a moment to come to the realization of why you are laughing or crying. Suddenly, that void appears again. It never really disappeared. The emptiness creates a pit in your stomach that aches for some normalcy. 

But what is normalcy? 

It does not exist. 

You are still swallowed up in that grief that will not go away. 

Sometimes you are afraid to close your eyes at night for the dreams that you may have.

Will they be nightmares? 

Will they be full of sadness? 

What kind of dreams will you have with this strong grief heavy on your heart?

Numbness

Sometimes you are so numb that you feel nothing. You keep moving along in a fog-like state. 

Does it mean that you do not want to recognize the hurt or the loss? 

Have you forgotten it? 

When you stop to realize that you can’t feel anything, then the guilt comes. The guilt that maybe it means nothing because you can’t feel it. The guilt that maybe you do not care- even though you know that that is not true. The numbness creates doubt – a doubt that you ever loved. A doubt that you care. A doubt that the grief is real. 

Intensity

The burden of grief is so intense. It is like a fire blazing through the fields. It is moving so fast that no one can catch up to stop it. Before you know it, it has burned down everything in its path. Then the strong and intense pain comes. It is a powerful force that hits you like a ton of bricks. 

Exhaustion

Grief tires you out. The constant back and forth of emotions. It is like a roller coaster that leads you on an adventure that you do not wish to join. You slowly go up the tracks only to suddenly fall as the pit of your stomach rises all the way up your body and you feel all the emotions at once- fear, exhilaration, desperation, and excitement. 

Confusion

Grief confuses you because one minute you are feeling happy and the next you are on the floor crying. It can carry you from one extreme to the next with no warning at all. It is that roller coaster again. Up and down, around and around. One minute it hurts so bad and the next you are not sure what to feel. One moment there is disbelief and the next, the immobility hits right in the middle of the trauma. 

Anger

Grief makes you angry. It makes you question why. It is like an intense lion roaring in the open. Roaring so loudly as to keep away all its enemies. When you are grieving you want to roar like a lion so everyone can hear your pain. You want to roar like a lion and lash out to try to get rid of the misunderstanding and questions that create the rage in the first place. Anger is the ugly part of grief. The part that you do not want others to see. The part that makes the least sense. At whom are you angry? What does it lead to? What is the benefit to you? Will it honor your loved one who has passed? Will it help those he left behind? Anger is the roar of the lion in the stillness of the day. 

Grief brings HOPE

For so long I felt suspended in time with those trains just passing me by.

Grief encompasses so many feelings and digs deep into your soul. It hits you in unexpected moments and takes you on a whirlwind of emotions. I have learned to just embrace those moments and be open to them when they hit me. 

We never really understand why God chooses to take our loved ones when He does, but that is not really for us to understand. My father carried a very strong faith and there was peace the moment he took his last breath. I remain comforted with that image. 

In those times when my grief is intense, I remind myself of that. I remind myself of the hope that the Lord offers me. Despite the heartache and the intense emotions that I continue to feel as my father is no longer here, the hope brings me joy and comfort in knowing that my dad is safe and that I will see him again soon. 

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 1513 1

 

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