Saturday, May 31, 2014

On Death and Grief: Nineteen Years Later

I like to look for quotes that will express what I feel I can't. Often, my posts on Facebook will be a quote on a subject that I am struggling with, or thinking of. I've been told that I should use my own words more often and quote others less. But the act of searching for a good quote often helps me and strengthens me as I usually read through many quotes before finding one I want to post. 

This morning, I wanted to post a quote about death. About grieving. About my loss and my heartache over Laurie Ann. I began to look through quotes that I have through an app called "LDS Quotes". I don't know as that I had any expectations about what I would find, but I wanted to find something to express subtlety the significance of today to any who would read. I did not expect to be schooled. I did not expect to be changed. I did not expect personal healing to take place. My expectations were clearly not high enough!!

Here's the quote: “Resolving grief is more than just accepting the death. It involves gradually reinvesting that emotional energy, not in the past, but in the future; not in pain, but in growth.” — Kathleen Rawlings Buntin

It has really never occurred to me that I can "resolve" my grief. And perhaps, being completely honest here, I haven't wanted to resolve my grief. I have felt the need to grieve. To hold this pain as some sort of evidence of my love for Laurie Ann. But today, after nineteen years, I feel like I am ready to resolve the grief and to reinvest my emotional energy into the future, "not in pain, but in growth". And it may be for this one day or for a week, a month, a year, or for the rest of my life. And I may continue to feel the pain and sadness of my loss. It will be a process. Gradual. But I am ready to progress. I am ready to purposefully move forward. I am ready to be more in control and more focused on growing. 

And I find it curious that I have to convince myself that it is a good thing to do. That it in no way diminishes my love for my daughter. I believe that The Lord wants me to be able to grow. He wants me to be able to look forward, not back. There is a resurrection, a day for tears of joy and for a joyous reunion to take place. And as I stay focused on that, my heart and soul are filled with hope and faith and desire to live my life in such a way as to guarantee a joyous reunion. A day when the songs of the heart will be sung all the day! 

I think I will print this quote out and read it everyday. I will begin today refocusing my emotional energy to the future and allow the Spirit to help me resolve my grief.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hope and faith. And don't forget charity!

This morning I read a quote that said, "Hope has a way of being self-perpetuating. Hope breeds faith. And faith produces miracles."

In conjunction with that, I just happened to finish reading the Book of Mormon again this morning. As I read in Moroni, chapter 10, I thought about the above quote from Tito Momen.

In Moroni 10:20, it says, "Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity." Moroni teaches how hope, faith and charity are all related. It is clear that they each depends upon the other. You really cannot have one without the other. They help each other to grow, to be more effective and to produce miracles. Moroni even goes so far as to say that without each of these gifts (hope, faith and charity) one cannot be saved in the kingdom of God! (Moroni 10:21)

This caused me to ponder, "What do I have hope in?" "What is my faith is doing for me, for my family and for those for whom I have a stewardship over because of my calling." And, "If I possess this charity that Moroni talks about and do I truly use it to bless our lives?"

The results of my morning pondering: I find myself feeling "acceptable", but with MUCH to learn and a long road to walk still. I find myself contemplating the importance of enduring. Of not giving up, of thinking I've done enough. Although I think it is good to look back on my life and see how far I've come and what I've been able to do for good, I also vehemently support the idea that one cannot justify sitting back and not continuing in good works because of all that he/she has done in the past.

I am grateful to be able to say that ever since I was brought back into activity as a youth, I have not gone inactive again. I am grateful to say that ever since I received my first temple recommend and was endowed, I have always held an active temple recommend. But I am quick to acknowledge that I have not been able to so this alone. I have been given many wonderful people and experiences to help all along the way. I also am quick to acknowledge that I am weak and prone to wander. Prone to falter. And understanding that fact coupled with recognizing all the Divine providence that has been in my life brings such a feeling of gratitude to my Savior and for the Atonement that my heart fills to capacity and my eyes become wet with emotion.

Hope. Faith. Charity. I could study daily these things and still not exhaust my need to learn more!