Grief can be a story about relationships.
Movies…ahh, the movies. People tucked tight with whimsical and popcorn…but sometimes, just sometimes, new lives are born.
Few remember the serious quotes from a movie. They just don’t. The funny quotes are the ones that get the attention, and why not? They make people laugh. Laughter, well, we like laughter. Laughter lifts the soul. Does good for relationships too. Man, Monique and I laugh, I can’t even tell you what over. Tons of things. Some days…some years even, we don’t laugh as much. That’s ok.
Sometimes relationships gain traction from tears, rage even. “The Princess Bride” might be the most oft quoted movie in history. The movie runs well in my circles anyway. I remember a good bit of the funny ones, but I remember one that was less funny, and it happened just before the two rolled down a big hill together, and reacquainted at the foot of the dreaded Fire Swamp. The quote interrupts the Dread Pirate Roberts (Wesley) as he taunts her about not making good on her pledge of everlasting love to Wesley. The moment happens like this:
Wesley: “Faithfulness he talked of, madam, your enduring faithfulness! Now, tell me truly.
When you found out he was gone, did you get engaged to your prince that same hour, or did
you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?”
Buttercup: [standing up, more indignant than before] “You mocked me once, never do it
again! I died that day!” [She proceeds to throw the Dread Pirate Roberts, down the hill.]
I’ve felt that movie moment in my own life so often in different ways. The scene has to be, has to ring, true! Because I’ve known the opposite. I know my bride, my best friend, is my life. The day I met her…I lived that day.
The day Reyana Breen Elgersma died – well, I cried that day. Hard. We cried that day. Wailed. Slammed our fists into the earth. Somehow we knew, and still know in our hearts we had conceived a daughter. Our Reyana. She was only weeks from conception. Some days I blame us, blame myself. We conceived her into an environment she couldn’t possibly survive in. Some days I blame God. He found the most offensive, cruel, and gut-wrenching way to say, “No.” Some days. Most days nearly 10 years later, I know that neither are true. This simply happened. My heart had to grow back again, because I lost my heart that day. I died that day. I cried that day.
I cried today too. Grief has legs for distance, and that’s just fine. I made manhood ok with tears. Our story is one of tragedy and resilience to be sure. Some couples lose each other, along with the sun. Sometimes the sun goes down, and relationships break in the dark of night. That wasn’t an option we allowed ourselves. We practiced our relationship. We held tight in the dark, and found ourselves grafted even more surely than before. Grief can be a story about relationships. Most often are. Couples that come with me into therapy are often asked, “What are you practicing?” “Are you practicing your relationship with each other?” Kids that I see at a nearby psych hospital who have experienced hardship and tragedy, in-todo with boisterous grief and destruction, are asked, “Are you practicing being in relationship with others who can support you?” So many practice being alone. That rarely ends well.
I cried that day. I cried today too. Grief has legs for distance. Don’t let anyone convince you that grief can only last a short while. You can stop for a little while…”Get off the train” so to speak…for awhile. To quote another great movie line, “You either get busy livin’, or get busy dyin'” (Shawshank Redemption). Grief has legs for distance, but you have to practice livin’ anyway. My daughter sat by me, and handed me a Kleenex. She took a moment to talk about it. Get busy livin’. Not easy, but my bride and I decided to practice livin’. We grafted tighter than ever. You can too. It’s true. You can, too.
We can help you make your life better. We can help you to get busy livin.’