And still is really. A recent realization I had made me start reading more about what the Bible says about fear and grief. Most of my life, my cup has been overflowing with fear. Fear of all kinds of things. Fear of losing loved ones. Fear of failing at something. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of losing someone. Fear of rejection. The fear list could go on and on. However, in the last few years, with so many losses in our family, my cup has been overflowing with grief also, along with unworthiness and even more fear. The flow hasn’t stopped. Fear still consumes me, which is not something I’m proud to admit. Fear has probably been the thing that is most debilitating for me and has been for a really long time I believe.
Our losses began in 2011. Now, up until this point in our lives, we had only lost a handful of people close to us, but it had been quite a while. My husband lost his Granddaddy years ago and I don’t even remember when most of mine passed or I wasn’t born yet. So in September of 2011, when we had our first miscarriage, little did we know what was to come. That same December was another miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, which resulted in surgery and two more babies lost. I never mourned those losses. Life went on. In June of 2013, my husband’s Granny passed, we took it very hard. She was near and dear to us and our kids. At the same time, his mom was suddenly very sick. One month later, his mom passed away. This loss was way harder. Harder than we ever imagined. My husband was so close to her as he was an only child. She was so close to our girls as well, so as we mourned the loss of a parent, I was also mourning for my girls at their loss. Their little hearts were so broken. Fast forward seven months and my husband’s dad passed. Yet another big blow to our family.
Grief was getting pushed to the side for the next loss that was to come. My husband’s uncle passed away one month after his dad did. Then my great-aunt passed away a month after him. My cup was already overflowing with grief and I didn’t know how to process it all. I never had to process grief like this and now I’m an adult not knowing what to do.
That fear that I already lived in was now a fear of the next person we would lose. Fast forward one year. At the time we were living three hours away from my family in the same area his parents had lived, now with no close family around. My husband has some precious cousins that lived close, but as far as immediate family, we had no one. When we lost both of his parents, we lost a whole lot. That parent/grandparent connection was huge in our lives and now left a big hole. God had made it clear to us that we were to move to where we live now. Very close to my parents. And the losses didn’t stop. Nine months after we moved here, my Poppy passed away. Just shy of two years later my Granny passed away. Her loss was the loss that I couldn’t recover from. Those two years with her after Poppy passed were the hardest two years of my life at that point. She suffered with dementia, so it was a long goodbye. Her and I had a special bond. We’d always been so close. And she was gone. The day before my birthday. Then there were a few losses in our church family that hit hard as well, shortly after.
My. Grief. Cup. Was. Overflowing. Now. Too.
Since I never knew how to process grief, it had no where to go. All those losses were still brewing inside of me. I never dealt with any of them. I cried and moved on, just like always. This time, I couldn’t handle it. I believe that about 8 months after my Granny passed, I couldn’t take it anymore. My “breakdown”, as I refer to it, came and hit me so hard and fast I couldn’t breathe. Severe depression and anxiety were the result.
Thankfully my therapist was able to talk to me about the grieving process pretty early because it was clear why I was in the state I was in. It took a while, but I’m finally able to sort of process grief. It’s something I have to force myself to deal with, but at the same time, I’m still in fear of who we will lose next. It’s no way to live. The good news is, God doesn’t leave us to suffer alone!
Psalm 147:3 reminds us to lean on God and allow Him to continue the process of healing our broken hearts. It’s so comforting knowing that we don’t have to do it alone. Now to remind myself of that when the grief comes (and it comes in waves still because I haven’t dealt with each loss just yet). I’m doing that by journaling about each person. Each loss. On top of that, because of my fear of losing someone close, I fear grief. Have you ever thought about that? I actually fear grief and I’m sure I’m not the only one. There’s where they come hand in hand. I fear grief. Imagine my cup now. Where do I go from here is something I’ve thought way too often. How do I NOT fear grief?
Did you know the word “fear” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible? So why am I overflowing with fear AND grief? He clearly tells me not to fear. Do not fear. Fear not. Do not be afraid. I’ve come to a point of understanding that I need to work through my faith and my relationship in God to take away fear’s control over me. I have to face the fact that I am going to lose more people because Jesus promises death. And when that death happens, WHEN it happens, I have to be prepared to then deal with the grief and not shove it to the side. Another promise? He promises He will be with us wherever we go. And that, my friends, is enough.