From Me, To Me

Dear Meri Kate,

This letter is long overdue, and it’s being written to remind you of what’s true and what’s not. You’re searching for control over things you were never meant to control. You got tired of riding out the emotional waves of grief, the ones you can’t predict, so you went back to what gives you comfort. You went back to looking for control.

You started by mentally creating your checklist to avoid feeling, to avoid feeling the bad and to avoid giving yourself permission to feel the good. So, out came the list and tasks you deemed necessary and one by one you began to check them off. Stay busy, check. Convince yourself this holiday season is better than the last, check. Don’t focus on what’s missing, check...and so on and so on.

Eventually the list wasn’t enough so then came the race. You’ve done this before, treated grief as if it’s a race you’re running at full speed with a finish line to be crossed, and if we’re being honest, a gold medal to be received because that’s what you want—the gold medal that says you’ve championed grief and declared victory over the pain.

But there’s no list that can be checked off and no finish line or gold medal to be won. There’s no tightrope that can be walked to avoid falling into the pain and feeling the feelings. There’s no protective bubble that can’t be popped and no armor that can’t be penetrated. There’s no amount of retail therapy to buy away the sadness and not enough wine to blur the truth. And this is why I’m writing you, to remind you of what is true and what is not.

Here’s what is true. This is your life, and it’s a good one. So, please stop trying to convince yourself that you’ll start living once you’re done grieving. This will never be a distant memory, and you should be thankful for that. The holes in your heart mean you’ve loved people enough to have given pieces of it away.

Pity parties celebrate misfortune, disappointment, bad luck and shame. Your life has a purpose and it’s not meant to trade your days on this earth for attending those types of parties primarily because your life has never been and never will be defined by what is deemed pitiful.

Don’t forget that you’ve fallen down before, and you always get back up. So, let go of the control. I’m happy to say you never had any to begin with, and you’ve never needed it because you believe in a God who’s already written your story. His plans cannot be thwarted. You’re not in control, but Someone else is.

So throw away the list, and take off the running shoes. The race has already been won. His love is bigger than your grief.

Remember what is true,