It is 3:45 AM and I can’t sleep again. At least this time I wasn’t awakened by night terrors. Stress seems to trigger certain things in grief like restlessness and nightmares. There is a veiled part of grief that I carry that most do not see or recognize. I am struggling with it greatly at the moment, it is something I hate and have dealt with before and assume I will deal with in the future.
I call it the withdrawals of grief. Irritability to commotion and disdain for group gatherings heightens, stress seems to be the trigger and grief tends to be magnified with the stress. I want to pull away, I need to escape the chaos so I begin to withdraw myself from group gatherings.
I find it hard to be around happy people during these times. It is difficult to laugh and I find it hard to smile. Life takes on a more serious tone and silliness is annoying to me. I feel like oil and water in large groups and I just can’t blend in naturally. Irritability greatly heightens and it is just better for everybody if I pull away and disappear for a while.
This desire to withdraw creates an unnatural dilemma in my life. There is a large group of people I love greatly who have been an anchor for me in troubled times and in good times. They are my church family of whom I find myself pulling away from at the moment. It is unnatural because the church is the place where Christians go for fellowship, to be built up, strengthened and encouraged. The building itself is troubling to me at times as well. My kids grew up there and four of my family members including my son laid in caskets in the very place I teach from every Sunday. Bitter sweet memories grab me every Sunday as I enter this place. I want to run, I want to fly away, I want to withdrawal.
My heart is severely pained within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off,
And remain in the wilderness. Selah
I would hasten my escape
From the windy storm and tempest.”