Caught by surprise. Why does it still hurt?

When I was going through my divorce my counselor described grieving as a process. Typically it includes denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The first time through this process usually takes the longest. Once you are through it, life seems to get better and your positive outlook returns. It is also very common for something to trigger a repeat of this grief cycle. The Holidays are a common trigger. It could also be something as simple as driving by a restaurant you used to go to with your spouse, or even hearing of a friend getting engaged. When this happens, it can definitely catch you by surprise. Fortunately, these repeat cycles are typically not as intense and don’t last as long as the initial grief cycle.
This happened to me once about 2 years after my divorce. I found out that this woman that I was working with had gotten engaged. For some reason, her joy and excitement sent me into a major funk. I grieved all over again the death of my marriage. It really hurt. Fortunately, it only lasted about 2 weeks and I was able to work through it and my positive and grateful attitude returned.
When you find yourself in one of these repeat grief episodes, lean on what has helped you in the past. Thank goodness for your Catholic faith as it is rich in ways to help restore peace and joy into your life, namely the Sacraments, including the Mass, the Eucharist and Reconciliation. It is through our faith that we are reminded of God’s abundant Mercy and Love. He grieves with us. It is also helpful to think back to the last time you were grieving and do some of the same things that helped you get through that rough time. It could be exercise, a hobby, journaling, or talking to a trusted friend. Whatever it was, do it again. It will help now, just like it did before.
Never forget that Christ is ready to climb into your rocky boat at any time. Just call on Him! (Mark 6:45-52)

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