How Are You Doing?

Warren F. Kenney

"Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary." So read the last two lines of The Rainy Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Mr. Longfellow certainly captured the way life often is, did he not? Many times the rain comes in the form of a veritable cloudburst accompanied with lightning and loud claps of thunder.

When such storms come into our lives, we become fearful. When we survey the damage after the storm has passed, we grieve. It seems as if we all get more than our fair share of time grieving. Our grief is compounded by the number of times we are asked how we are doing by people who do not care enough to listen carefully to our answer. Many of them respond with trite answers that leave us feeling worse, like: 1) "I know how you feel." The truth is they do not. 2) "I know what you are going through." How could they, unless they are going through the same thing? 3) "Why don't you get your mind on something else?" What they do not understand is that to me this thing is big. I cannot possibly get it off my mind until I have had enough time to work through it.

Grief really is a part of life, is it not? You can grieve over many things, in addition to the loss of someone precious to you. The list is almost endless, including: loss of health, death of a favorite pet, loss of mobility, giving up a home, a failing memory, becoming a crime victim, having an accident, loss of a job.

Do not let anyone discourage you because you grieve over any of these things. Your reaction of grief is a very normal one. It is even normal to feel like you are losing your grip on reality, unable to focus on anything for any amount of time, irritable or downright angry, like you are numb.

Let me give you one more morsel of advice to think about. You should not think there is anything wrong with you if you do not work through your grieving process quickly. Insofar as I know, there is no "normal" length of time for grieving. It takes some longer than others. The length of time one spends on the grieving process is often influenced by such things as culture, the support one gets from others, and one's own emotional make up.

Grief is a normal part of a well-rounded life because it reveals that we are a caring people or person. To grieve is not a sign of weakness. It is an indication of being strong enough to care very deeply. "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

May God richly bless those of you who grieve. 90 Waverly Cr., Martinsburg, WV 25401.


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