Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ouch, It Hurts!

Tears started to fill up my eyes as I was caught on guard that morning. Flooded with emotions, my heart and hands started to shake. I was not at the gravesite; instead I was listening to a sermon surrounded by the people who love me on one beautiful Sunday morning. It was such a powerful sermon, while I actively nodded and shouted Amen once in a while, suddenly a simple illustration was brought up and stung my heart like a bee! It has been a while since the pain was awakened.

Ouch, it hurts!

The big hole was being exposed again. It was now out in the open. The memory, disappointments, questions, worries suddenly resurfaced. The "why?" appeared in a vision again. And I was back to square one again with that bitter feeling, nobody ever wanted to taste. Trying to wipe clean my smudging mascara while catching a breath surely was not the easiest thing to do. Slowly, the shaking heart calmed down and I was able to breathe again. Maybe some people wondered in their hearts “What just happened to her?”

Ouch, it hurts!


“You will lose someone you can’t live without and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ― Anne Lamott


Friends, for people like us, who have gone through grief and survived, it is totally normal to suddenly feel like being hit on the head with a brick, through simple things, such as a casual statement made by a new acquaintance you just met at a dinner party, a movie scene even after you have read the synopsis thoroughly, a song lyric that has been sung over and over again, a lovely and delightful event that you’re invited in, small things that seem to be normal can easily awaken the pain.

Wouldn’t be perfect if people could read our hearts or maybe we could send a warning message through the social media, telling the world around us to grief-proof their lives tailored to each pain we carry? But the reality is we cannot control what is posted and planned out there, we cannot control other people’s lives. They have all the rights to live lives to the fullest, just like us.


So, what to do when it hurts? Let me share three things that have helped me to pull myself together when the pain is unbearable.

1. Choose to remember
With a deep breath, I would remind myself that I have a Father in Heaven who is currently looking down at me and says “I know what’s going on”. In a heartbeat, I would say to myself that He who has carried me through would continue to do so for as long as I live. I choose to remember that I am remembered, not forsaken or forgotten.

2. Choose to focus on the gifts beyond the pain
Some people approached me not long after the death of my husband and gently said “There is a gift behind your sorrow”. After a while I understood and was able to see the gifts with my clear conscience. When something came up and stung my heart, I would shift my focus to all the gifts that I have received along the journey. Of course, there will be some adjustment to my dream in the future but the gifts make it all worth it.

3. Choose hope
My heart could be broken again but I would try to get my hope up as soon as possible. God who has done it before will do it again for me and I know that my hope in God will not disappoint. I would choose to shake of the small disappointment and believe again.


As someone who has been going through the valley of the shadow of death, I fully realize that anything could come up anytime, anywhere, and easily bring back the pain. The best way to face it is to make those three choices and place them around my fragile heart like a soft bouncy cushion. For friends who are going through the journey of grieving & healing, please hang in there when it hurts, never take things personally, soon you’ll gather yourself and continue the journey stronger than ever. Dancing with the limp is beautiful after all.

You are not alone~

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