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“Open your arms to life! Let it strut into your heart in all its messy glory!”
 
–Deborah Wiles

Healing

Is it better to rip off a bandage in one fast jerk, or is it more advisable to ease it off gradually?  Such a dilemma!

 

I usually favor getting the pain over with quickly, so I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and rip it off as fast as I can.  There!  Done!  But when I open my eyes, I see that the originally-injured area is still there, not totally healed as I hoped it would be.  The part that had begun to mend and was just starting to form a protective layer was reopened by my impatience and impulsivity.  In fact, I caused another area unrelated to the first sore spot to bleed.  Now, I have two wounds to tend to instead of just the one.  Rats!

 

I guess I should have been gentler with my hurt.  Had I taken my time to allow for more healing first, I wouldn’t have caused myself additional pain.  The raw spot needs to be carefully nurtured so that it heals properly without trying to rush the process.  Changing the bandage regularly is advisable to give the sore an environment conducive to healing.  But when replacing it, one should always take special care with the tender, sensitive area beneath.  Removing the bandage too soon or too fast will be detrimental to its healing.  You can’t hurry it along, as I can attest.

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Grief is very much like this.  We are tempted to try to get done with it all at once.  But in our haste, we may rip open many old wounds that have accumulated over the years that now need tender loving care.  As Megan Devine says, “Grief is not something to get over; it is a process to be experienced.”  There is no finish line to cross nor medal to be awarded for being the fastest griever.

 

Being patient during the grieving procedure allows for gradual healing.  Knowing how to deal with our grief has to be learned, sometimes requiring help from an expert.  There are innumerable changes to adapt to, not to mention the loneliness and isolation that set in.  There needs to be regular change and variety in the “bandage” that is providing the balm for our wound.  We must take our time and slow down.

 

So, my best advice is to be kind, and patient, and gentle with yourself because grief is a lifelong undertaking.  Your healing will take as long as it takes!

 

~Janie

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