Ben Wilson 720-378-2327
Suffering Attracts Fixers The Way Roadkill Attracts Vultures ~Eugene Peterson
Love In The Time Of Paranoia

Forrest Gump, Harry Potter and Grief

Go East, Young Man

{Ben and Ann}

Grieving isn't just about the death of someone you love.  We suffer deaths of various flavors throughout our lives. Life isn't exactly like a box of chocolates, Forest Gump. It's more like Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Harry Potter.  Sometimes we get great tastes like banana and bacon; other times we gag on rotten eggs or petrol.  

My friend, Krista, understands the sour flavors you are experiencing now, "Every day we experience death. The death of dreams, misconceptions, illusions. The death of vibrancy and enthusiasm. The death of hope. The death of courage. The death of confidence. The death of faith. The death of trust. More often than any of us ever expect, life stuns us with the sudden wrenching away of a loved one, a devastating diagnosis, or a conversation that begins with the chilling words, ‘There’s something I’ve got to tell you.’

In our stunned state, we make daily choices whether to numb our souls or to face the pain. To grow, we must allow ourselves to grieve our woundedness, which stems from ways we have been hurt and ways we have hurt others that lead to the loss of relationship and intimacy. The maze of grief through these wounds eventually leads to extraordinary encounters with God.

We had much to grieve following the revelation of the affair.  One of the best decisions we made involved facing the pain each day. Even though a constant wash of pain poured over us, we figured there was still only so much pain to navigate. If we managed to make it through the pain, we didn't want mistrust constantly snaking around our relationship two decades hence.  So we walked with grief through the pain.

Grief takes many forms. Practical ways to grieve include: walking, staring at the walls, writing, painting, dancing, working out and playing sports, beating the bed with a whiffle ball bat, praying the Psalms, simply telling God you hurt, talking with a good friend, spending unhurried time with a friend where conversation is light and/or deep, laughing at the absurdity of the situation and praying with Jesus at the crucifixion. Perhaps you have a couple other ways in mind.


However you grieve, heed these words from Gerald Sittser, who lost his mom, wife and one of his daughters in the same car wreck. He shares in A Grace Disguised: “The quickest way to reach the sun and light of day is not to run west, chasing the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.”

So, go east, young man and young woman. We grieve any loss in our lives, not just death.  Our response to loss determines whether we can give and receive love again or become tight-souled and bitter.  

What wounds are you aware of today? Be as specific as possible.

Betrayed and Betrayer: Rescuing your marriage from the affair.