I used to believe the lie that many psychologists purport …. that a person can never really recover from the loss of a child. After reading “The Grief Recovery Handbook” by John James and Russell Friedman, I now disagree with that statement and belief. The authors define recovery as “feeling better … claiming your circumstances instead of your circumstances claiming you and your happiness … finding new meaning for living, without fear of being hurt again … being able to enjoy fond memories without having them precipitate painful feelings of regret or remorse … acknowledging that it is perfectly all right to feel sad from time to time and to talk about those feelings no matter how those around you react …being able to forgive others when they say or do things that you know are based on their lack of knowledge about grief … one day realizing that your ability to talk about the loss you’ve experienced is indeed normal and healthy.”
Obviously, recovering from a significant emotional loss is not an easy task but certainly is possible. And based on the above definition of recovery, I think I have recovered. Oh, don’t get me wrong … I still miss Jackie immensely, talk about her all the time (which I’ve learned is very healthy) and hold onto the hope that I will see her again in heaven. But, I don’t feel guilty anymore for feeling good! I know now that feeling good is not disrespectful to her memory. It’s kind of like being injured physically but worse because you’ve been injured emotionally. The good news is you do heal. You may have a scar (which I do) but you heal up and you can recover! God is in the healing business. The Scriptures say, “The LORD is close to the broken hearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18). “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Where there is life, there is hope! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! With God all things are possible!
It feels good to feel good again.
p.s. The photo of the arm with the tattoo is Hebrew and says, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"