A few posts ago I wrote about honouring grief.  A very wise and experienced soul, Roads ( thepriceoflove.net ) wrote this in a question to why people say dumb things when it comes to speaking to the bereaved.

It’s a very good question. But the answer, really, is that they have no understanding of bereavement. The pity is that the very best way to learn is through experience.

I agree with Roads.  I don’t think that people have an understanding of bereavement.  Some think they do, but they don’t.  And I don’t even know that I do.

I know that I don’t understand it all.  I’m sure I don’t.

I understand the hellish part of it.  I understand how sad it is to see that the caller id on my parents phone still says Mendelt and Marisa. I understand the difficulty of trying to rear three children.  I understand how being a young widow is a lonely existence.  I understand the sorrow I feel when I see Jacoba go toe to toe with the big boys on the soccer team because Marisa, who would be so proud, isn’t here.  I understand that people think I should ‘get on’ with things.  I understand what an empty bed feels like night after night.

I understand that grief is very much like fear.  And I understand how scary this new life is.  I understand how difficult it is to think that at 34, my best days are behind me.  I understand how hard it was to watch Marisa strain to keep the glow in Her eye with each bad test result.  I know what it was like to stand with Her in our ‘garden of Gethsemane’ when they told us Marisa wouldn’t live to see Christmas.  I know what it was like to hold Marisa while She took Her final earthy breath.  I know what it is like to feel like cancer won.

I get that stuff.  I am living that stuff.

But after that stuff, I don’t really get it.  I don’t understand the rest.  Do I really understand bereavement? Because if I do, why do I mourn when I believe that the Mansion that Marisa went to is a way better place than this place?

I believe and tell myself that Marisa is without cancer, but what do I know?  If Her body here withered away, does it become suddenly clean when She goes to heaven?  Am I just saying these things to myself to feel better?  Doesn’t this just show that I don’t get it?  I think just asking these questions proves that I don’t get it.  That I don’t understand bereavement.  That I don’t understand grief.  That I don’t understand sorrow.  That I don’t really understand grace…yet.