Living with Grief’s Paradoxes

Photo by Norma Sessions

I’ve known it intellectually, but now I’m living the reality.

Grieving means living with paradoxes, struggling with conflicting emotions and desires! 

I’m less than a month away from Linda’s death. The grief is raw, the sense of loss intense.  Here are some of my lived paradoxes:

  • relief that she’s at peace and regret that she is gone;
  • desire to engage others and preference for being alone;
  • wanting to remember and trying to forget;
  • confidence that I loved her well and guilt that I fell short;
  • quietness as solace and silence as a void;
  • aloneness as solitude and aloneness as loneliness;
  • clinging to God’s presence while feeling God’s absence.

A friend reminded me, “You can’t go around grief. You have to go through it!” I can’t remove the paradoxes. I just have to live them.

God, grant me the patience necessary for living with and through grief’s paradoxes!


13 thoughts on “Living with Grief’s Paradoxes

  1. Yes, Ken. You’ve know all these things and more – intellectually; and many of them in your heart, previously. But Linda’s death provides you a fresh window into your soul via the route of “good grief.” May your grief be what you need it to be, as you travel this new season without your beloved Linda…while with the God whom you and Linda have loved and been loved by for so long. You are loved by many including me. Thank you for sharing your words and life with us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for those words Bishop Carder. It’s been 6 months since I lost Ray and I keep going through all of those emotions. Reading that you feel the same way has somehow helped. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing these paradoxes of grief. I plan to use this next week at our grief support group here at First Broad Street UMC in Kingsport, TN. Your thoughts resonate as I am finishing up Richard Rohr’s book, THE NAKED NOW, which is all about living the non-dualistic life, straddling the ambiguity of the present world through the power of the Holy Spirit. May God’s blessed Spirit hold you close and may She/He comfort you with that everlasting love. I am so sorry for your loss and grateful for your willingness to share that journey with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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