Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A thank-you letter to grief

Kate Motaung, who leads us in the Five Minute Friday link up has written an e-book called Letters to Grief. In order to celebrate that release, she is hosting a link up for us to write a letter to grief ourselves.

"There is something about writing a letter to someone that 

just brings release and satisfaction--which is why I'm

inviting you to write your own letter to grief as well."

--Kate Motaung

Dear Grief,

I never thought I’d be writing you a letter, but it does seem fitting somehow. You have shown yourself off and on during my life and I have to say, even though you’ve been an unwelcome visitor, you have also been a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

You showed up when I was very young. I didn’t know what to call you, then, but looking back I now know it was you. You were there, helping me cope through a very difficult season when I didn’t know how I should feel. 

You. Got. Me. Through it.

I have, unfortunately and fortunately learned a lot about you over the years. I have learned that you can be ignored. For awhile, and on the outside. But, you are never really gone when you've needed to be present in my life

My body has told me at the times that you were present, that you are still sticking around long after I thought you had long moved on. You have spoken to me through 

migraine headaches, 
muscle tension, 
and a host of other negative emotions that surfaced at inopportune times.

When you showed up, you also did crazy antics in my body, soul and spirit. One minute I’d be doubled over on the floor in gut-twisting sobs, and the next minute I would be laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

I learned that this is part of your way in us when you visit. And, it’s okay.

 I am very thankful for you during the times you have shown up. I know that sounds crazy. But, I know you are a gift from God for me to actually mentally, emotionally and physically survive unspeakable hurt and disappointment. 

Even devastation. 

That’s one of the things I learned about you from a very wise counselor. (I’m glad I asked her about you and the symptoms you were causing in me. It made me feel a lot less crazy.)
She said to me, “You are going to move through your grief pretty quickly because you are leaning into it.”  

I had to ask her to explain what leaning into grief meant.

She basically said that it is healthy to have my arms wide open to accept you in all of your forms because if I accept you with open arms, you will come and stay for a season, but like winter always turns to spring, you would eventually move on. 

And, during seasons when you’ve shown your face, that is exactly how you’ve moved.

I could be really angry at you for coming and hanging around at different times in my life, but why would I be angry at YOU? You are just a by-product, a gift to help me to accept and process hurts and disappointments. You are not the cause of them! 

You can be so misunderstood by some!
Prince and I

Again, I thank you for coming around during the very difficult times. 

It’s because of you, ultimately, that I have had so much healing emotionally. During a few different seasons of my life, like 

losing my Dad,
losing my horse Prince, 
feeling misunderstood and betrayed by those who were the closest to me, 
and dreams that have been crushed, 

you've been beside me. You've been beside me, coaching me through your stages, and ultimately coaching me to let go and move on. 

Thank you for coming just for a season, doing your thing, and then moving on. If you hung around me forever, how would I move on to happiness and enjoying abundant life? How would I move on to gratitude and having eyes that see beauty?




  1. i lost a dad and a horse, too. both devastating. i like your perspective that grief is necessary to moving on. good reminder...thank you so much!

  2. Love your perspective here, and how you actually *thank* grief. Definitely gave me something to think about! So glad you wrote and linked up! Blessings to you!

  3. Visiting over from FMF! I love what you said about "can be ignored." Those pictures are great too! Thanks for sharing your letter. Happy New Year! Blessings, Carrie


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