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Good Mourning: Learning to dance again, pt. 2

Continued from Good Mourning: Learning to dance again Because we are social beings, we can’t help but find a part of our identity in others. I am uncle, father, husband, friend and boss to the crowd of people in my life; stories of my life are animated by the relationships that populate it. …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Continued from Good Mourning: Learning to dance again

Because we are social beings, we can’t help but find a part of our identity in others. I am uncle, father, husband, friend and boss to the crowd of people in my life; stories of my life are animated by the relationships that populate it.

Something in me is hard-wired to both properly welcome and part company with these people, and in turn, the part of me that connects with them. It’s not just decorum that prompts me to hug my parents goodbye before stepping on a plane – I’m temporarily detaching from a piece of myself.

When, through abuse or some other trauma, death comes to visit, to remain whole, we must find a way to say goodbye to that part of ourselves that has died. We do this by mourning, by engaging in good grief. The paradox is that only by embracing the reality of death do we become open to the possibility of resurrection.

The more we leave parts of our lives “ungrieved,” the more we become fragmented people, not only numb to pain, but numb to the possibility of joy as well. The coolness you feel emanating from a lot of people stems from their refusal or inability to properly grieve the seasons of their lives where they have experienced great pain. They have walled themselves off from the feeling parts of themselves and consequently, struggle to feel anything.

The good news is that at any point in our lives, we can go back and say a proper goodbye by allowing ourselves to experience the pain of loss. The only way to reunite our fragmented self is not to go around the pain, but to face into it and go through it. On the other side is the possibility of joy, of dancing again.

Also, check out my blog on Learning to Grieve.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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