In each of our homes, Joe and I have proudly flown the American flag. Following the protocol we lowered the flag to half-staff to honor the loss of life in the tragic shooting in Las Vegas.
After two weeks we raised “Old Glory” to full height to symbolically get back to “normal”. But we, and especially the families who suffered these horrendous losses will never get back to “normal.”
Grief weighs heavily on us. Even time fails to heal some grief. We can carry a huge hole in our hearts at the loss of family members or close friends. The sorrow can form deep scars.
Grief is a part of the human condition. But in order to avoid losing ourselves in grief, we need to put adversity in its proper perspective.
Father Richard Rhor, from the Center for Action and Contemplation commented in a conference that grief is a powerful portal into the soul’s work and transformation. He explained that grief is a time for waiting in the darkness for wisdom and hope.
To get to this “wisdom and hope”, which seems like a total impossibility, a person works through the defined steps in the grieving process. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross these five steps are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.
We as humans are all dealing with grief at some time in our lives, never knowing quite when.
Progressing through these five steps takes time. There is no order, or time limit on each step and no guarantee when a person will finally find peace and acceptance. The only people who think there’s a time limit for grief, have never lost a piece of their heart. Take all the time you need.
Knowing this carries direct implications in our interactions with others. We may never know what sadness or challenges others are dealing with.
So let’s be extra considerate of others and their journey. Try to be a better listener, an understanding friend, and a loyal confidant. The warmth in your compassionate eyes is an attractive gift. Others who are hurting will welcome your air of understanding and empathy.
Even though those who suffer loss will never get back to “normal”, With these attentive qualities we can help them make an easier transition to the “new normal.”
Our prayer for all who suffer: May God be with you and give you comfort. May He wrap His arms around you and give you peace and hope. May He fill you with strength, and may you feel His love. Catherine Pulsifer |