A Shaky Thumbs Up

Hey, Chris, how are you doing…?

Not a bad question. Stick around, if you’re willing, and I will tell you exactly how I’m doing!

I was talking with a good friend on our walk around the 4 mile track in our local state park. I was trying to explain how I feel like I am doing right now. I have not had any “good” days, yet. They have all been in the “bad” category. But, that doesn’t mean I am not making progress, or that I am so low I can’t function.

I thought of a somewhat accurate picture of what I feel like. Have you ever seen the football player that gets wiped out on the field and probably breaks something? They will keep him still and carefully place him on a stretcher, then they’ll load him on a little cart, and drive him off the field. Sometimes, that player will want to encourage the crowd so he’ll give the universal “I’m OK” symbol: the thumbs up. Now, this dude is NOT ok, he is broken, in pain, and he is squeezing little tears out of the corner of his eyes. But, he is good enough to share hope with others regarding his condition.

This is me. I am broken, lying in a heap…but, I have enough in me, and knowledge of God’s goodness, to give a thumbs up. Days like today remind me that there is hope. I can see glimmers on the horizon, I know there are good days out there, and I am looking forward to whatever God has for me. But, for now, I cannot get my eyes to focus on “good” things well enough to really see it.

“Grieving is a tedious, unpleasant, and lonely process earmarked by immense pain. But you can celebrate the new optimism and perspective on life that grieving can bring.”

Excerpt From: “Getting to the Other Side of Grief” Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge

Optimism is a trait that is ever so slowly emerging. Surprising me at times. I feel the need to examine any optimism that I may experience and run it through the mill of my possible guilt regarding having a positive view of the future. This is an involuntary process, I cannot seem to stop myself from questioning any kind of positive thoughts about what is to come. The two concepts feel incongruent; Jana’s death and a positive future.

But…BUT…it is starting to happen. I can see slices, mere paper-thin slices, of potential happiness in the days and months to come. Maybe, I am successfully grieving? Maybe all my work is paying off? Maybe, the block of grief is looking a tad different? I hope…it has to at some point. I do know that I am changing…

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