More and more each day I am realizing that our society is the cheer up society.
The idea of sadness terrifies us.
Sadness is a hallmark symptom of grief. It is the ultimate consequence of losing something or someone we care about. I consider sadness and love ultimately linked.
“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hallow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” -Jamie Anderson
Grief is love.
But yet, we spend a significant amount of time trying to cheer people up.
Because we consider that being sad is bad.
However, I want to challenge you today to consider the idea that being sad isn’t bad.
I spent the first seven years of my grief drowning.
I was in the middle of an ocean of grief- desperately trying to keep my head above water.
My legs were concrete. My arms were large rocks.
I was tired.
Consumed with my struggle.
I was drowning in my grief rather than sitting in it.
Everyone around me tried to comfort me. Tried to save me. Tried to cheer me up.
“He’s in a better place,”
“God will never give you more than you can handle,”
“He wouldn’t want you to be sad.”
These attempts to comfort me failed miserably. I didn’t need to be comforted. I needed to sit in my grief. I needed the permission to feel sad. I needed permission to feel.
In this clip from Inside Out you see Bing Bong lose something he loved.
Joy attempts to cheer him up. And fails.
Sadness sits with him. Sits with his grief. She empathizes with him.
This is what I needed. When I was drowning. I needed to sit in my grief.
If you know someone who has lost someone or something they love. Maybe something in their life has changed, sit with them. Sit with them even through the uncomfortableness of sadness. Encourage them to feel. Give them the permission they may need.
And remember- you are loved. And sad is not bad.
Grief is love with no place to go.
Grief lasts as long as love lasts- forever.
Somehow, I hope that love becomes light in all of our darknesses of grief.