As a Combat Engineer in Vietnam, my comrades and I regularly faced danger. Our daily mission was to escort other units to a construction site to repair what the enemy had destroyed. Sadly, there were many times while en route to our destination that we lost fellow soldiers due to enemy attacks. Those were the hardest times for a soldier, facing grief while confronting the enemy. It was in those times that it took courage each day to continue on with our mission. And so it is, with everyday life when we are experiencing grief.
I was asked once “how do I get over my hurt?” and my answer was that a person may never get over their hurt, but that courage will help them get through it. When in mourning, we often struggle to find enough courage to make it through the day. As explained by writer and artist Mary Anne Radmacher, “courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.”
What does grief look like? It has been described as an intense emotional suffering caused by significant personal loss. This can vary from person to person and occur at different stages in life. It can be a deep sadness and anguish that reaches into the heart and soul.
Facing grief is normally unwelcome and hurtful. Grief often comes in waves of sorrow, that recede only as the process of healing begins. Recognizing that process and allowing it to happen, are important in order to endure and even grow richer from these life experiences. This process doesn’t always happen in the same order, and may even occur more than once.
It is my belief that everyone has the ability and capacity to face their grief with courage. If you face a catastrophic event in your life, try to remember that life will go on and remind yourself to have the courage to not give up. If you would like someone to talk to about your situation, please feel free to reach out to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 865.806.4424.
By Chaplain Ghosten