DON’T be afraid of the depression in grief. Don’t be afraid of the pain. The fact is that feeling depressed in grief is closest to the reality we find ourselves in. It’s the closest we find ourselves to the truth of our reality.
Feeling depressed is the most authentic of the grief emotions besides acceptance, so to be depressed, and to not regress into anger, bargaining or denial is the promotion of healing.
Depression is vitally necessary in recovering from the grief of loss.
Depression in grief is an irony. It’s a good hope because it’s predicated on truth.
And the depression needs to be more fully felt and experienced, the sorrow allowed to be, and the helpless vacuousness endured, but not without the occasional help.
I’m not advocating that depression in grief must continue to be endured without help. But I do think that hope is found in a type of honest acceptance that’s found in grief’s depression. When we can sit in that pain of a life that’s ended, a life on hold, an identity that’s been deconstructed, we do find the strength of God to continue in spite of the pain.
Depression is the last vestige of grief that cannot let go of what was. It holds two dichotomous ideas in tension — an acceptance of the new status quo with the sadness of that same status quo. Depression is true lament. And we must deal in the truth of our depression substantially enough before we move on in a sustained acceptance.
Denial, anger, and bargaining are presentations of the mind in a flux of railing against the truth — the mind that cannot entertain or comprehend the truth — a mind that cannot handle the truth. Denial is telling ourselves a lie and it’s us believing a falsehood. Not a healthy response, but perfectly understandable. Anger rejects the sadness deeper down as the coward’s way, but it’s only in the sadness that we regale in a truer strength. Again, not a healthy response, and again, it’s naturally plausible. Bargaining is investing in a bad hope. By bargaining, anger, and denial we go against the flow of truth.
If you’re depressed in grief take heart. God won’t waste your sadness, helplessness, or your impossibility of bearing this new reality. By being depressed you’re not denying the truth. By being depressed you’re honouring your truth.
Depression is a key to recovering from the grief of loss because it involves the strength of honest integrity.
Those who are true to themselves within the realities of their life are blessed with eventual healing for what they suffer.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.