A Tailored Suit or an Empty Plate?
Completing the Pain
It has been a long summer and it is not anywhere near coming to its end for me; which makes me think of beginnings and endings. A summer begins and then it ends. I have recently come across the idea that grief begins but it doesn’t end. Instead, the pain is something to be “completed.” Maybe it is a matter of semantics, but it seems to fit like a well tailored suit. Something about completing the pain is appealing to me. It might just appeal to you as well.
To complete a meal means to enjoy the flavors and textures encountered, resulting in a satisfying fullness. To complete a job means to stay focused on the project, using the best tools available until the task is completed. Again there is a level of satisfaction that usually accompanies a job well done. Could it be the same way with bereavement?
Against our will we have been pushed out the door of what has been our customary relationship with someone we love and care about. The door slams shut and is locked behind us. We cannot go back into that room for death has changed things forever. And now we find ourselves in a place of darkness, chaos, confusion, pain, and indescribable sadness. So here is where we might ask ourselves the question, “Do I want to stay in this place or complete the journey through to the other side?” I think most of us would answer, “I want to complete what has been started.”
The ability to complete the work of mourning needs special attention and assistance. Just like a woman is better off to complete childbirth with the assistance of a doctor or midwife, so mourners need the grace of God and the presence of caring individuals who understand to coach them along to the completion of the pain.
You have my commitment to be here to encourage you towards completing the pain of mourning that has begun in your life. My grief is not over, but my pain has been completed and this is why I can come alongside you and point you in the direction of completion for your pain. Next time we will explore what “completion” of pain might look like in practical terms.