While I know many people who are in the midst of grief, I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the healing that takes place through the passage of weeks, months, years. And while we often grow weary of days without the one we love, we surprise ourselves with the energy and even sometimes the enthusiasm to move forward. We never forget and we will always be trying to grow a new heart in many ways, but life has a way of drawing us forward—gradually. Sometimes we have to retreat and rest, especially around birthdays and special anniversaries, but we learn to expect the movement, even welcome it in the movement of our days.
Just how do we grow a new heart? In the movie Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks tries to begin again by moving with his young son to Seattle after the death of his wife. But he can’t sleep. His grief moved with him. People will often sell their home, remarry too soon, or sell their business, thinking that their heart will recover if they change their scenery. But what happens is the broken heart is buried and the busy-ness of new and different simply “mask” the pain. Eventually, the pain has to be acknowledged for true healing and “heart-growing” to take place.
GriefShare, an excellent video and workbook seminar, recommends waiting a full year before any changes are made in one’s lifestyle after the death of a loved one. A full year gives time for one to experience the grief process, discovering that as time goes by, thinking is clearer and decisions can be made that are more rational and realistic.
Growing a new heart takes time and patience. And on those days when you feel the steady beating, you can give thanks and praise to God for giving you life and breath. Breathe today and feel God’s presence.
“Breath on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love and do what Thou wouldst do.”