Friday, February 06, 2009

When God and Grief Meet

This week has been emotionally exhausting, and last night I came pretty close to my breaking point. I've been running to Green Bay every morning and spending the entire day at the hospital to be close to Howard and to support my mom. Mom and her sister Audrey have only gone home once since Tuesday; they only leave his side when the nurses insist. It's been an emotionally roller coaster with raised and dashed hopes. I was so consumed by grief last night when I got home, I gladly dived into doing laundry just to keep busy and push the pain down. I think that grief is an iceberg. You only see a small portion of it above the surface; the rest is hiding below, submerged and dangerous. I was supposed to head right down again this morning, but I was so tired, I turned off the alarm and slept in with Mia. I'll bring her in to school a bit late, but the extra sleep was worth it. I feel renewed in mind and body. After a good night's sleep, I can face another day.

When God and Grief Meet by Lynn Eib is a wonderful book about accepting and then moving past the grief after losing a loved one. When I ordered this book a few months ago, my uncle Howard had recently received a diagnosis of cancer that was bleak, but I hadn't even begun to process the grief of possibly losing him. The book arrived about three weeks ago, and as I started to read it, he was admitted into the hospital with all sorts of life-threatening problems that just kept snowballing. I know that God sent this book into my life at just the right time, because it has been an enormous help for me. Eib is a grief counselor, and she must be amazing at her job, because her book is filled with gentle wisdom and constant encouragement. She accepts every stage of grief without trying to rush through it and provides support for each. She includes several stories about people she has met through her counseling and the way they have learned to move through and grow from their grief. Each story is a blessing to the reader in that it provides hope that while grief never really completely goes away, it will diminish in time. Each chapter is packed with Scriptures to comfort the wounds of a loss. I wrote several of them down to keep with me. My uncle doesn't have much time left, so I will be passing my copy on to my family with the knowledge that it will bless them the way it has blessed me.

The winners of a copy of When God & Grief Meet are Paula Bake and Ellie Ullrich. Congratulations to them both! I will be starting two new contests next week, and with Valentine's Day approaching, they will be all about romance!