Grief is always bad, right?
I read Rob Bell’s letter to his church of 10K+ members, Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids. It was his last message to the church he founded but was leaving this month, January 2012. He wrote about the grief he and the church were going to feel:
<blockquote>”<em>any change, even if it’s good, is always a form of loss, and loss must be grieved. that’s the only way it works. stuff it, deny it, repress or suppress it and it will come back to haunt you, it will lurk in the shadows and it will resurface later.</em>
<em>your grief then, is a sign of health. it demonstrates an awareness of your interiors, your heart, and your desire to face and embrace what’s actually going on inside of you.”</em></blockquote>
I encounter genuine bravery from my clients who choose to embrace and process the grief and anger that accompanies every divorce. The people I’m privileged to work with in Collaborative law and mediation have chosen not to deny it (“I never really loved him/her”) or give in to the fear (“I was scared so I withdrew all the funds in our savings account”) or seek to punish (“S/He wanted this divorce and I’m going to get everything I have coming to me”).
Instead they bravely “face and embrace what’s actually going on inside.” It’s not easy. It’s not done artfully or gracefully at times. God knows I was not always those things in my own divorce! But my clients work with professionals who understand the importance of not suppressing the pain and who help guide them to and through that scary place. Divorce coaches, financial specialists, Collaboratively trained lawyers, child specialists and therapists. My clients, so worthy of admiration, take responsibility themselves rather than looking for a gladiator to charge in, take over, and do the hard work for them.
If you choose Collaborative process or mediation, it may be harder work. But the potential for this miserable business to “come back to haunt you…lurk in the shadows…and resurface later” is substantially lower because you’ve been willing to confront it, deal with it now. I call that “Good Grief.”
Wishing you wisdom–and a good grief,