While reading a fiction book recently, I came across a large portion of dialogue between the two main characters. Their conversation caught me by surprise. The young woman endured a painful, horrible, and long-lasting experience. The words of hope her new friend offered her centered on grief and how to move past it.

Reading those words altered my way of processing grief and assessing my progress. Immediately I desired to share these excerpts with you. The author happily granted permission.

This month’s excerpt centers on the strength of grief. Next month’s quotation talks more about our walls and the freedom we can experience. I pray this will encourage you in your own journey of grief.

“Grief isn’t fragile. It comes along with strength, facing the losses in life, the reality of what you won’t have back, then turning to the future to create what can be built. Grief is part of accepting what was; it’s what takes the sharp edges off your history. It’s emotion and it’s reality. It’s mostly not hiding, letting your mind present what needs processing and dealing with all the implications of those memories.”

“. . . You survived by hiding. It’s still how you cope when events or situations hurt you. I’m glad it’s a strong instinct because it’s getting you through. But it’s a defense. Grieving is about letting down that shield, not having to keep that defensive wall in place. When you can lower it and not get overwhelmed by the memories, you’ll know your healing is mostly complete…and be ready to move on.

“You’ve learned to endure, to live strong in spite of all that’s been thrown at you. That’s powerful and good.  . . . I think you’ve dealt with matters by a sequence that was basically ‘It happened, it was horrible, it’s over, move on’ and your emotions learned to function that way as well. But that was a learned pattern. Freedom is going to shift your emotions to something’s that’s more expansive. You’ll feel things with larger and wider emotional swings again, because now you have the freedom to experience those normal emotions. It’s going to be a good thing.”

Excerpts from pages 276-277 of Taken.
Used by permission of the author, Dee Henderson.