The Wake of Loss
The path or course of anything that has passed or preceded is known as its wake. When I thought about it I realized the ending of most things in life leaves some type of wake, a disturbance of sorts to its surroundings.
The disturbance is not always bad though because what is left behind always signifies the moving forward of something. Something different, something new, something anticipated but sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it’s unwanted, painful, and unavoidable.
Loss is loss no matter the area–physical, social, occupational. If we choose the loss, whether it be single to married or one job to another, then perhaps the loss is not as profound as when we don’t get to choose, such as a loss by death.
The wake caused by the latter is sometimes a tsunami in the disturbance it leaves behind. That wake has a name.
It’s called Grief
Grief can be defined as the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior. It is the reaction to a loss. One thing is certain, time in and of itself does not heal the wounds of loss. Left to itself, all time will do is make us bitter.
I am, by nature, an introvert and observer. I’m also very empathic toward others. The thing I think that is worth discussing is what happens in the aftermath of a loss, specifically the loss that comes from divorce.
How we handle the disturbance that follows. I don’t like to see people making decisions that will train wreck their lives. And if we don’t grieve that loss and put it into perspective we can make some very bad decisions. I’ve seen it happen. In real-time. Up close.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” ~ Mike Tyson
That quote really says it, doesn’t it? Life really doesn’t turn out the way we expect. We had a white picket plan and it got blown up.
Now we feel like we are drowning in the aftermath, unable to navigate the flow. Too much anger, fear, uncertainty, rejection. Just too much, too much.
I’ve lived long enough to watch friends marry, divorce and then marry – the same person, just with another name and different features.
Now I know sometimes we really get fooled; but sometimes the mistake we made could have been avoided if we would have slowed down and given ourselves time to grieve, heal, and learn.
Grieving, healing, learning. What does that look like? Well, it’s not lockstep, cookie cutter for sure. But the bare dirt foundation pretty much looks the same for everyone.
Stay connected to God
He is sovereign. You remember that, right? Nothing, absolutely nothing happens unless He allows it.
So, am I saying divorce is the will of God? No, but neither is abuse, desertion, infidelity and a whole lot of other things that can derail what God has joined. And that’s not the point of this reminder of His sovereignty.
When we lose someone, even when we are glad they are gone, we need internal comfort and calm that only comes from God. This is the only way that the wake will settle and the waters will still.
Go after God for healing from the loss and aggressively seek Him and ask to understand His mind and His purpose for allowing this to happen.
When we fail to understand His mind and purpose in the loss we will repeat the situation in some way until His purpose is fulfilled in us by the event.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11
What’s the difference between rumination and meditation?
Rumination comes from the word ruminant, animals that chew the cud. Ruminating involves chewing the cud regurgitated from a cud-chewing animal’s rumen.
It’s going over and over what is unprocessed. When we do that with our past circumstances without spiritual meditation and God-filled contemplation, coupled with His Word, which will create change in us, we endanger our future with crazy, foolish, and sometimes dangerous decisions.
Why did he? If only I… Why didn’t she? I can say with absolute certainty that sometimes the math on the past just does not, and never will, add up to an acceptable sum.
Just give God the losses and move forward.
Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
Give me understanding according to Your word.
We need some time to find out who we are without that person.We cannot do that if we immediately get involved in another relationship.
I’m not talking about isolating ourselves. I’m talking about some time without dating. Seek out your friends, NOT opposite sex friends, for social interaction.
So what if the ex is seeing someone and is bashing you? It’s time to wear your adult undies and be the mature person they are made for.
People who are in the wake of a divorce are BAD relationship material. Why? If we don’t fix what was broken in us, either before that partner choice, or as a result of it, we are very much in danger of making that same choice again.
Don’t lie to yourself
We are neither as good or as bad as we think we are.
In marriage, both partners are the contributors to the success or the failure of it. Forgive yourself and your ex.
We stay stalled at the point of our unforgiveness. Left long enough we begin a decline. There is never a holding pattern to resentment, bitterness, and anger.
There is always a part of us that wants to make sure others know what was done to us; it helps to deflect our complicity. Forfeit pride and get some self-respect instead. [The two are not the same.]
Social media is not the place for relationship venting, e-v-e-r. It cheapens the poster’s moral integrity and makes them look petty. It’s a means of revenge and will not bring any form of healing. Why? Because revenge does not transfer pain. And that’s what all that is about. Pain. The pain of failure, rejection, and lost dreams.
Years ago, one of my friends was asked if she had done any fasting and praying before divorcing her spouse [he abandoned her]. Perhaps the insinuation was there that she had not done all she could spiritually to bring about the changes that would have made her marriage work. She responded yes she had and that while it never did change her ex, it sure had changed her.
Ask God for clarity, to see yourself and your ex as HE sees. Why is that important? Without that clarity, we cannot change what we need to change in us so that we don’t make the same choices we made the first time around.
As long as we keep living our history we cannot experience anything better than bad. I don’t know about everyone else, but I want better than bad. I want best.
It’s hard stuff. Really hard. But it gets better. As my freaky fitness friends will tell you “It never gets easy, you just get stronger.”