Sunday, January 31, 2010

A grief observed

The last few days have borne out the adage I've repeated several times over the course of my blogging: Every new grief brings up every old grief.

It's been a difficult week.

The fourth anniversary of Saffar's death hit me harder than I was expecting.

Perhaps being mobilized / deployed for nineteen months in a row has something to do with it, or perhaps it was the fourteenth suicide prevention briefing in the last two months that I gave on Friday morning that really did it.

Then too, it might be that the biology course I'm teaching (four hours per night, twice weekly) is a 15-week class crammed into seven and a half weeks -- meaning the Soldiers taking the class don't have much time to become familiar and comfortable with the mountains of material they're expected to master -- and the lab part of the course has been thrown into my lap with a jolly, "Come up with something and make it work, but without any real support, equipment, or supplies there, or from us!"

Of course, it's probably just as likely that I've simply been extra-curmudgeonly this week.

Whatever is behind it, the grief has been kicking my butt for the past few days.

Grief is like that.

As my friend Blanche once wrote me, "Grief is not a mental illness; it just feels like one."

I do say, "HOOAH!"

And as my friends who go to a lot of AA and Al-Anon (and/or other 12-Step) meetings have long told me, "This, too, shall pass."

I appreciate their perspective, but I think they forgot to complete the thought: "This, too, shall pass.... like a kidney stone."

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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Kōgen 光現 Dito-Keith said...

When ever grief hits me I just suit up and show up. I used to think that sounded horrible- like living one day of fallacy at a time- but it's got me through some rough spots. Hope everything is everything, Chaplain.

P.S Your blog helps me see my grief from the proper perspective.

Whirlwind said...

Grief is so often almost totally overwhelming. I lump it up there with worry, and I often wish I could leave it behind. I guess that's why I so appreciate Jesus' grief as expressed in the story of Lazarus. The humanity of the one we too often think of in terms of "God's Son" without really considering what it means to be the son of God.

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