Three grief giants have pushed through my front door in 8 months. Giant 1: death of a child. Giant 2: death of a parent. Giant 3: job elimination. The third giant stares at me with penetrating eyes – trying to intimidate me. It flexes its muscles and the room shakes when the giant walks. It confidently wants to battle and tempts me with a nudge saying, “Common, let’s wrestle. You have to …. you have no choice. You can’t ignore me. I’m real and I’m right in front of you.”
Oh, I’ve never personally wrestled with this third giant. Several people for whom I care deeply have suffered downsizing, resizing, restructuring giants. Whatever the rationale, they mess with the people who they approach – impacting entire families.
The three giants together take up a lot of space in the room. Sometimes their voices boom with the impact of fireworks and other times they zip around behaving like annoying flies buzzing around my head. Other days, one giant snarls at me up close and and I don’t hear the voices of the other two. Occasionally, all three giants are stomping so hard, I can’t tell which one is louder. They meld together and become one monster.
I say to them, “You are on the ‘Top Ten List of Life Stressors.’ In your minds, you’re pretty powerful. Doctors and psychologists think you are.”
I don’t understand why all three characters had to visit within an 8 month period. Aren’t there rules about this kind of thing? Isn’t there a tally being kept somewhere with my name on it that says “one giant at a time.”
It seems that as giants #2 and #3 have entered, they’ve made unwelcome grief of dealing with the first one, death of a child, more intense. I am sure they are working together – plotting a strategy on how they will either knock me down or suck all the air out of the room so I can’t breathe.
They laugh thinking that if they don’t get me, the fear and pity of others will demotivate me.
But, instead of pretending they aren’t in the room or cowering in the corner, I choose to look them deeply in the eyes. When I do, they suddenly become transparent. I get a glimpse of a presence behind them, and my heart rate slows down. This holy Presence envelops me and helps me stand firm. The giants can’t see it. That’s my strategic advantage – the giants can’t see it.
So, we four share a space for now. What they don’t understand is that this loss story is mine and not theirs. And I choose how to face them….they do not define me. I confidently say to them, “Back away, you don’t know whose daughter I am.”
“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” Job 11:18