C.S Lewis once said, "Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.? I came across this quote after having buried a dear family member this past weekend. Have you ever tried to climb to the top of the monkey bars, reach as far as you can, only to be hanging with one hand on one set of bars and the other on the next set? If I let go, I most definitely will fall and because it rained last evening the ground below is looking pretty muddy and murky. But what choice do I have? I?m suspended in air at the moment.
That?s sort of what this grief thing feels like. At times when the gentle breeze blows through my hair, it gives me pleasure but then suddenly I?m surrounded with fear, realizing that I?m just hanging on in between two realities. Did he really just die? How is that possible? We just spoke with him the night before?
Letting go, involves risk. Will we remember the pleasure of climbing the one side of the monkey bars? Will the memories of our loved one remain vivid? Or will we come to a time where they will no longer be necessary? I hear myself say, "I need to let go of one to move onto the next.? Fear then says, "If you let go you will be hanging on only with one hand for a brief second before reaching the new monkey bar, to the other side.
Memories remain memories. That first monkey bar is how I started the journey and will never be forgotten. But I must let go so that new memories can be made. As I let go of the one and shift to the new one, I realize that Someone much stronger than I is actually guiding my hand to the next bar. I need not fear, and I need not worry. God?s incredible hand of mercy guides me to the next. I wonder what adventures we?ll be having?
I hope that in whatever circumstances you find yourselves in, that you too may find the strength and ability to move over to the next phase of your life; the new "normal.? I too look forward to what this means.
By Winnie Visser
Principles for Real Living:
I am responsible for my own attitude
My attitude affects my actions
I can not change others, but I can influence others
My emotions do not control my actions
Admitting my imperfections does not mean that I'm a failure
Love is the most powerful weapon for good in the world
Desperate Marriages by Gary Chapman, Northfield Publishing, Chicago 1998, 2008