When we suffer a great loss we become quickly acquainted with a few persistent and unpleasant friends that go by the following:
Sadness, Anxiety, Anger, Confusion, Annoyance, Fear, Regret, Bitterness and Blame.
These are the so called "friends" you have no control over. The party crashers. They drop in unexpectedly and unannounced when you are in the middle of dinner with your family, watching a movie with friends, grocery shopping, at soccer games or getting a massage. They have no boundaries.
When we feel their presence drawing near we usually react in one of two ways.
1) We slam our door shut, turning the deadbolt quickly. We turn off the lights so it appears that nobody is home. We pray and pray if we ignore them they will go away and leave us alone forever.
2) We take our door right off of the hinges, toss it aside, turn on the blinding neon light pointing them directly to the entrance. We stand here practically begging them to come in and take up a permanent residency in our soul. They become a squatter in our hearts, refusing to leave. We are willing to wallow with them for the rest of our lives.
When you are grieving this is a constant battle. Wanting to keep these feelings pushed out so you do not have to deal with them. Or letting them in for all eternity because we believe that is the only option we have now.
I do not think either one are the answer.
What I am learning after two years of grieving my son is this...
My heart is the gatekeeper, the home to my soul. In my home I picture an oversized sofa and a cozy fire made up in the corner. Heavy mugs are readily available filled with your choice of coffee or tea. It is warm. It is peaceful. It is safe here.
When a guest such as anger, sadness or blame shows up unannounced and knocking at the door, I will open it gently. I will let them into my home. They can sit on my couch and enjoy the warmth of the fire.
We will let the tears fall together. We will yell into the silence together if we need to. We will sit and just be in this space.
I will let them know they are welcome to stop by but they will never be moving in. I understand the importance of their visits and I will not keep them shut outside. But I also understand the importance of them leaving. They are a house guest, not a roommate.
Now if my dear friends Joy, Hope and Happiness ask to move in, I will build a new addition.