It’s never easy to face loss. It’s a natural part of life, and yet we do anything to avoid it.
Even when we know we need to accept the loss.
I’ve written about moving to South Africa, and how I resisted coming back to the USA, even though God was calling me to return. And I’ve also written about how God brought me back amid difficult circumstances, and eventually learning how to thrive in a place a never desired to live.
But I haven’t written about the loss. And how difficult it was for me to grieve the loss.
Because when I left South Africa, it was on medevac. I had been injured and had surgery abroad, and then the Peace Corps decided to send me home permanently on medevac. And while there was some measure of relief because life was really tough my last few months of service, the sudden shift from living there to living here was a loss that I didn’t expect.
Packing up my home with a broken arm in about an hour. Saying goodbye to my community in about 20 minutes, knowing I wouldn’t be returning. Condensing two and a half years of life into two suitcases and a carry-on that a wounded person could manage. It happened so fast. On a Wednesday, Peace Corps decided I would be going home.
Then I celebrated Thanksgiving the next day, trying to come to terms with a massive life change. That Friday, I went on whirlwind trip back to my village to pack up and say goodbye, and on Monday I was boarding a plane.
Then suddenly, I was in America during holiday season.
[bctt tweet=”And I didn’t grieve the loss for months.”]
I kept busy, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to admit that I needed to grieve.
And so for months I struggled with readjustment and struggling to understand American life. I worked hard to appear normal, but inside my heart was torn. A life I loved and felt comfortable with had been torn away in one moment, replaced with what felt like pieces of a puzzle that I couldn’t fit together.
We shy away from grieving, preferring to appear that things are fine, even when our souls are in turmoil. But sometimes, we need to be brave and grieve the loss.
Because when we take a moment to grieve what we’ve lost, we allow space for healing. We allow comfort to creep in, and what was broken starts to become whole again. It’s not instantaneous, but it happens.
[bctt tweet=”Grieving the loss is vital to becoming whole again.”]
This post is part of my #write31days series for 2015: Living Brave. Each day in October, I will be posting about living brave and what that looks like in everyday life. Curious about 31 Days? Check out the website and the hundreds of other bloggers joining in this year: 31 Days.