“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

16 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Thank for sharing….praying for you …
    Pastor
    Dan Griffin

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Dan. I share these entries from my journaling from the past two years. Please help me invest in others as you minister to them.

  2. Anonymous

    Another “so true” my friend. I didn’t know what it was when it happened last fall (10 months into my grief). I was weighed down more than ever before, and it persisted…weeks, then it began to lift. I just figured it was part of the process. I knew Who held me and of His faithfulness. Your experience is a sweet reminder to me that this path is not so “uncommon” as one might think. Such encouragement. Thanks D. Ray.
    Slater

    • D. Ray

      Thanks, Slater. I pray for you every day, brother.

  3. Anonymous

    Praying for you dear brother as you work through the grief!

    Sonny

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Sonny! I am working through it well. God has been so good to me throughout every step of the journey.

  4. Anonymous

    So sorry you’re going through so much pain. You truly loved Kim with all your heart. I pray for you daily that God will comfort you and help you through this grief.

    • D. Ray

      Thank you for praying daily. God has strengthened me. To be clear, I’m reinvesting my journey that began February 18, 2019. My entries are about lessons and experiences from at least a year before. So, God has comforted me as I processed the loss, and now, I am reinvesting my journey for others.

  5. Anonymous

    I think of you often. Thanks for continuing to share with us. May God continue to give you strength for this journey.

    • D. Ray

      God has given strength as he has given me grace, mercy, peace, and comfort.

  6. Anonymous

    YES…the tears … so many in the beginning. But it seemed to me, the “lowness”… the heaviness” came AFTER reconciling myself to my new reality. That’s when the drudgery set in…The chicken or the egg question of old…LOL

    I know it’s been two years for you, but I’ve found in nearly 6 years, the lowness and heaviness returns mysteriously and without prompting or warning, with wistful phases of peace interspersed…the fight against the emptiness is REAL… even with our lives surrounded by our children, grandchildren, and other loved ones and friends! Our eyes on His steadfastness and presence, return us to that peace we so desire!

    Thanks D Ray!
    Kathi B

    • D. Ray

      Thanks, Kathi. I really appreciate your comments and interaction. Press on!

  7. Louis Cook

    This was helpful to me as someone who has experienced loss but also as a pastor. It seems we like to put a timer on grief and when it goes off then everything should be awesome as they say in the Lego movie. Thank you for honestly sharing how that is not the case. Thank you brother.

    • D. Ray

      Thank you, Louis. I began releasing entries from my journaling to help others…I’d love it if pastors could be aided by the lessons and experiences I have had.

  8. Barbara Johnson

    I’ve found that reading the replies to your blog posts is very helpful. They are almost like a grief session where we learn that many others share our same feelings. Is there anyway you can put me in touch with Kathi B? Her responses are generally what I’m thinking and I’d love to visit with her more. Barbara

    • D. Ray

      Barbara, I will try to connect you.

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