The Oasis - May 20, 2020
Author: Rev. Estelle Margarones
May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020
Rev. Estelle Margarones
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was 8 years old feeling the chill of the air conditioning as I sat on the hard metal table; the white paper crinkling as my legs swung off the side. Dr. Morrissette, my pediatrician listened intently. After I explained that it hurt “in my bones” he told me that I was experiencing “growing pains”. To this day, I wonder what was wrong with my legs that hurt from the inside. Also to this day, I acknowledge that growing pains are, indeed, real.
In fact, I’m experiencing them right now. And I know you are too. We often think of growth as in size, but growth may happen as development. It may include a broadening of one’s understanding or perspective. Yes, friends, we are no doubt growing in many ways. It could be that you’re experiencing growth in compassion, patience, or appreciation…or in frustration, disappointment, or boredom. Likely, given the situation, it’s in multiple areas. And growing can be painful.
Cynthia Occelli said, “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” If you’re feeling a bit like the seed right now, know that there is something beautiful ahead-and-you can mourn the loss of what was as it gives way to what is and what will be.
Many of us are experiencing the loss of ‘life as usual’, yet we may not realize that we’re grieving. (Oh you mean that anger, frustration, confusion, sadness, disorientation, lethargy, lack of appetite, foggy-headedness, etc… that I’m feeling is actually grief) Grief looks like many different things. And each of us experience it differently. Once we name it, we can begin to process it and find supports to help us through the process.
Each of us has grieved something before be it a person, place, or thing. There are several types of grief and you may be experiencing more than one at once. There is what I call ‘Standard’ grief that moves through the stages of shock, denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, and meaning making. There is anticipatory loss when you know loss is coming. Sudden Loss will take you by surprise. An example of Secondary Loss is when you lose a second thing because of a first loss. For example, you lose a sense of community because you’re no longer going to the dog park after the loss of your dog. Your grief may be Cumulative when you experience another loss while still grieving first. My heart goes out to the high school Seniors whose losses include seeing friends, classrooms, final sports seasons, prom, and graduation. There’s also Disenfranchised Grief which is the type when it’s not a socially accepted loss. There are a host of other types of grief, too. The one we’re all experiencing is called Collective grief and it’s felt by communities in times of trauma such as hurricanes, bombings……. and COVID-19.
Here are some things that can help us when we’re grieving: We can pray. We can tell our stories. We can practice self-care by getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, doing those things that make us feel grounded and relaxed. We can establish a routine and stick to it. We can journal or make art or music. We can use ritual, be it dabbing oil (used by the ancients for anointing and as a healing salve) on the backs of our hands or holding a shell as we thank God for that which we had.
We’ll offer a webinar on grief at a date to be determined. Anyone wishing to schedule a private pastoral counseling session with one of the pastors may call 207-363-3758.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
John 11:25-26 I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.