Grief: The Natural Course

 

I have come to learn the hard way that grief must run its natural course.

Kind of reminds me of a river I once knew, a mountain fed stream called the Salmon River that runs through Williams Park in Langley, B.C.  One year when heavy rains came, the river flooded, washing out bridges and banks, uprooting small willows and bushes that stood along the water’s edge.

The engineers at the park’s department set about rerouting the creek to minimize the damage the next time it flooded.  The idea was to redirect the path of the tumultuous waters so that even in extreme conditions, the force of the current would be less hazardous to its environment.  To this end, wire cages called Gabions filled with rock were installed along the river bank to change the course of the river.

Several weeks after the project was completed, a downpour came, lasting several days.  Agents of the parks board came to see the effects of their efforts.  As caretakers we already knew the result: the raging river had not only done just as much damage as before; it had also dislodged the Gabions in order to resume its natural course.

Like the Parks’ engineers I thought by pouring my overwhelming emotion into a new relationship, I could reroute the emotions of my grief.  I could get on with my life at a much earlier time than predicted.  I could avoid all the pain and loneliness of grieving.

But what I learned was that at the first sign of issues and challenges in the new relationship, I was easily derailed.  My judgement was almost non-existent.  I missed many warning signs that this person was not suitable for me;  Not because he was a bad person, but because I had just grasped at what my grandmother used to describe as “any port in a storm”.

It was a painful lesson.  Painful for me and for the other person as well.

Be grounded in your grief.  It’s a natural process. Don’t fear or shun it.  With God’s help will you make it through.

To learn more about Williams Park, go to: http://www.tourism-langley.ca/williams-park/

 

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