Sitting Through the Darkness; Confronting Grief’s Deepest Pains

Jerry Sitter was on a casual drive one day. In one of the most tragic scenarios possible, he lost 3 generations of his family from a single car crash – his mother, his wife, and young daughter were tragically killed.

He wrote a book about his journey through the grief that seems all but impossible to comprehend, A Grace DisguisedIn his account, he talks about a very distinct metaphor that anyone who has grieved has experienced in some way.

confronting grief’s deepest pains

You’re running towards the light. The darkness is right behind you, always on your heels. You know you need to stay in the light – if not, you’ll surely die. Everything horrible, terrible, and tragic is in the dark. You need to stay in the light.

In Sitter’s book, he discusses how he finally decided to stop running, and to let the darkness cover him. And he did. He experienced some of the deepest sorrow, hurt, and depression that anyone could experience, as he grieved the loss of his mother, his wife, and his daughter.

Finally, the light came back. It was as if you were running to stay in the setting sunlight. But once you let the night take its toll, the sun would set again, chasing the darkness away.

Not Shying Away from Grief’s Darkness

Like Sitter, you maybe be experienced a terrible, tragic loss in the family. Maybe a loved one was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Perhaps you lost a home or a place that was your safe haven for your entire life. Whatever it may be, you’re going to experience the feeing Sitter describes in his book.

Fortunately, you don’t have to experience this alone. There are a plethora of resources for any kind of grief, including professional counseling for the loss of a loved one or the Burzynski Clinic for maintaining a positive attitude after a cancer diagnosis.

Encouragement for Facing Grief’s Darkest Times

A good many people know what it means to grieve deeply. One of the worst things to do is to pretend like everything is ok. Grief is all but a natural response to a loss or tragedy, and trying to cover those emotions with “toughness” or denial is a recipe for disaster.

Open up. One of the most healing and necessary aspects of effectively grieving is to actually feel those emotions. No one wants to let the darkness overtake them – staying in the light seems like the only possible option without the grief completely overpowering us. But that’s not the case – not shying away from grief is the very remedy to overcoming it.

Share your feelings with someone. I know this is terrifying. For many men in particular, showing a vulnerable, fearful, or sad side is emasculating and taboo.

One last encouragement – turn your grief to physical exercise. There’s plenty of “me” time to be had on a jog, or time to process alone when on a long bike ride.

You’re free to avoid and ignore your emotions for as long as you want, but until you’re ready to face grief’s darkness, you’ll never fully heal.

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