Mourning, Part 1 If a person had told me that there are blessings found in grieving before I went through it a few years ago, I would have thought they were crazy. Today’s culture tells us that blessings are found in things that are easy or fun, or in things that generally feel ‘good.’ Situations or people that cause us pain are generally seen as curses to be avoided at all cost. We are also told that when we are hurt the strong among us will ‘suck it up,’ or ‘put on our big girl panties’ and move on. The implication is that crying - or even the mere feeling of pain or sadness- is a sign that we are weak. One thing I learned after discovering my husband Wayne’s betrayals is that I truly did have a choice. I could choose to ignore and stuff down the pain, or I could sit in it and allow myself to feel it. Since feeling pain is clearly an unpleasant experience, my natural tendency was to choose to ignore it. Had this been a healing option it would have worked well. Unfortunately ignoring the pain only added to my problem. Looking at how physical wounds heal helps to illustrate what I am talking about. Think about last time you scraped your knee. You may have cleaned the scrape then applied a band aide. This kind of wound you can literally cover then ignore, and it will heal fine. But what if your wound was deeper? What if rather than a simple fall that produced a scraped knee you were in a car crash with multiple internal wounds? No one in their right mind would put on a few band aides then get up to ‘walk it off.’ So why do we do that with heart wounds? Sure, there are times when our heart gets a little bruised or scraped. In those moments a little emotional cleaning and band aide will cover it. But when we have been deeply wounded by the one closest to our heart we need intensive care. Putting a band aide over this kind of wound only creates a dark breeding ground for germs like bitterness and self-hate to grow. Knowing that this septic kind of living was all I had to look forward to if I did not choose to engage in emotional rehab (grieving) is what gave me the courage to rip the band aide off. The blessing found in choosing to grieve is healing and comfort. It is a painfully long process, but well worth the effort because after we have walked it to completion we find ourselves renewed and oddly stronger than we were before the wound was inflicted. Today I have discussed the need to grieve. In part 2, I will share some of the ways I walked it out.