The morning after
The fire has burnt out. All that is left are charred remains of what was once a blazing furnace of grief. I have surrendered to the feelings that I felt would incinerate me & they have not. They have not destroyed me. They have not burned me away… they have smelted some of the hurt & confusion & they have charred away some of the shock & trauma but I have not been destroyed. The coals are still warm. That kind of warmth that does not crackle & destroy with flying embers but just illuminates & makes your skin glow when you come close to it. In the 5th stage of grief I surrendered. For your reference, I include the stages below again & the link to the first 4 inserts of this 7 step process that I now call my own.
Stage 1-Shock & denial
Stage 2-Pain & guilt
Stage 3-Anger & bargaining
Stage 4-Depression (Reflection/ Loneliness)
Stage 5- Surrender & Release
Stage 7-Choosing Life (acceptance & hope)
Stage 5: Surrender & Release
The heaviness begins to lift as you start to feel a bit more like yourself & are able to function to a degree as you did before. You are by no means as you once were but you begin to feel a but more like your old self. The feelings of sadness, loss, longing, anger, regret, guilt & depressive tendencies do not disappear but they lighten & you feel as though you might be able to live a normal life again someday.
In this period, you may feel you can begin to start processes of moving forward. You may begin to enlist methods or people to help you get back on track or at least to a point of progressing. You are moving towards acceptance & allowing the process to unfold a little more every day.
Isaiah 43:19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I have surrendered my weapons. I have stopped to rest. I am no longer running around in circles or allowing myself to be jerked around by my mind. My spirit feels as if it might find peace again. Not in the way that life used to be… but in the way that it is now. The way that it must be. I hold on tightly to the beautiful things I know. The memories. The truth about my love for my sister. The similarities. I surrender myself to the choices that she made. I cannot change them. I cannot go back & nothing will erase it. I have to face her decisions & I have to be okay. I have to deal BUT not without ensuring that I have searched myself & dealt with all the fragmented bits of me left from her death. Gathered them together, examined them, held them close to me, felt them, embraced them & decided where they go next.
I relinquish control. I give control over to the Creator. I allow Him to hold me. I allow those I love to tell me things that bring me close to tears & I feel. I truly feel it in every part of my being. I allow myself to become one with all of it. My sisters struggle. The darkness that overtook her. I succumb to it. I settle into its depths & I let it wash over me. I sit with the emotions she might have been feeling and without judgement I search my soul for how it feels. It feels sad. It feels hurt. It feels alone. Its feels withered. It feels as through it might never recover and then it does…. and I support it. I give it the sustenance it needs. I give it words of hope. I reach out to those I know will be able to lift me. I reach out for God. I feel His presence surround me. NO… it doesn’t take the pain away but it momentarily stills the pain. Just momentarily I can feel the fresh air sweeping into my lungs. Into my soul. It feels good. And I sway back & forth between the darkness & the light as I begin the journey of healing.
At this stage I had no new clear Vision of which to speak. I knew only that I wanted to use my sisters death to bridge something. A gap. A divide. An abyss of darkness & light. A monumental space into which many have been lost. A place of loneliness & solitude & sombreness. A place where people go to hide. A place where my sister found herself alone & afraid. A place where she did not allow me to walk with her. A place that took her from me. A place that snuffed out her light…. BUT I WILL stand up from that place. I will come back to tell the tale. I will carry the scars & I will be the armour bearer & the carrier of the torch. It will NOT destroy me…. for I will walk with it in my hand & use it to bring light into the darkness.
And so I begin the process of setting my sister free. Free to roam the courts of heaven that has become her home. Free to find herself in the presence of the Creator & to finally be everything that He created her to be. To be FREE. To be light as a feather & to live in that purity. To be a soldier. To march for those who she had tried to help during her tenure on the earth. To stand for something so much greater than I could imagine. To hold the space for me to learn & grow through her death. For me, for her, for so many that came before & many that will come after. My sister took her life at the tender age of 26 & she gave me my life because of it. I release her into eternity & with that I release myself…