“It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever…” Psalm 136:23
Over six months into my grief, a sense of pervasive lowness came over me. Early on, these feelings came in waves, and like waves they eventually retreated. They subsided. Later, however, the lowness came in like a tide of heaviness. Lowness came for a longer stay. Heaviness persisted. It did not so easily subside. It’s as if my new reality was settling in and becoming just that—my new reality.
I didn’t like it.
Something happened during my time of lowness, and I think there’s a connection. My crying ended its every-single-day assault. I cried every day for almost seven months. Some people cry for a longer period, and some people cry for a shorter period. I didn’t know that, but I’ve learned that grief is as individual as each person is unique. The length of time the crying endures is not the point.
But now the tears seemed to subside. At least the everyday onslaught. It’s as if the lowness carried with it an acceptance of my new reality. It was settling in, making itself at home. Uninvited. Acceptance became an illegal squatter.
“The disappearance of the grief is not followed by happiness. It is followed by emptiness.” Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy
The crying didn’t end because I was happy. It seemed as if it ended because I was coming to grips with what had happened. Even if I didn’t want to accept it, I was accepting it. I had no choice.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:12
I had to coach myself through the ceasing of my tears. Tears had become my friends. A daily companion in my journey. A physician to aid me in my healing. A drain for the pressure brought on by grief. And now, without warning, the tears were pulling away. I had to tell myself that this was alright. The reduction in the frequency of tears did not mean that I didn’t care anymore. This was a step toward healing. The wound had begun to close and heal over.
“Our griefs set lessons for us to learn, and we should diligently seek to get into our life whatever it is that our Master would teach us.” J. R. Miller, The Ministry of Comfort
It was if I had my first taste of wistful peace, but it first showed up as lowness and heaviness. I had been told peace would come again. Acceptance of loss is a part of the grief process. There is progress even on a long and unwanted journey. The path is through tears, and then, lowness and heaviness. Weighty. Drudgery.
This thick pathway, this unwanted journey, leads to acceptance and eventually to wistful peace. If you’re facing loss, press on by faith through the heaviness and lowness.
“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation…” James 1:9