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November 30, 2014

A couple of years ago at this time of year, I was not feeling thankful.  I was feeling the deep, intense grief of someone who has lost someone or something. I was feeling alone. I was feeling like no one anywhere could possibly understand my pain and suffering. I was feeling like I would never, ever be able to climb out of the hole of depression that I had fallen into.

I’d like to mention also, that during this time I was surrounded by friends and family who were wonderful. They tried to say all of the right things, they even excused me from having to bring a dish to Thanksgiving. But sometimes – most times – every time, actually – the griever must just let the grief run it’s course. The thing that is the hardest, is that we don’t know how long that course will be. Sometimes it is a sprint, sometimes it is a never-ending marathon. We long for control over our emotions, we want to dominate the pain that is ruining everything; but the more we push against it, the longer our journey to healing will be. It is the worst.

My journey has been a long one and I have wounds that haven’t quite healed. What I appreciate most are the friends and family who are ever-patient with me. Ones who refrain from saying “Why can’t you just get over this already? Isn’t it time to move on now?” even when they don’t fully understand why I can’t do that. I am grateful for friends and family who have matched my rage and sorrow with empathy and love.

I realize that this year some of my dearest friends had hard Thanksgivings and are likely dreading Christmas in a way that I’m familiar with. I’m also willing to bet that I have friends and acquaintances who are having a hard time that I know nothing about. If you are one of those persons, I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are a whole bunch of friends and strangers alike that love you – that are praying for you – that have felt a pain as deep and treacherous as yours and who have survived. You will too. And in years to come, it will hurt a little less. But for now, I’m so, so sorry for your suffering.

Every Thanksgiving social media is bursting with images of what and who people are thankful for. I have hesitated to share some of those images myself for fear that I’m not being totally honest that this time of year is a little hard for me. So here is the full picture – I’m sad, I’m thankful, I’m hopeful and I’m thinking about all of you with love and thanks and hope as well.

Sincerely – Kara

With Thanksgiving

 

 


Comments:
  • Kara, not only has God gifted you with photography and getting REAL pictures of people looking their natural, beautiful selves, but He has gifted you with a wisdom of people’s inside feelings that you also can relate through in your life. Now, just like your photos, you are sharing those thoughts and feelings in well written words. Many years ago, during the struggle with the short life and death of our first son, a very wise and compassionate Christian counselor shared a priceless gift of words with me. He simply said,” there is no right or wrong way to grieve, but you must do it in your own way.” He also taught me that grief is like waves on an ocean: you may think you will drown in the beginning, but as time goes on, you keep swimming along your way in life. The waves will still come, just as strong and powerfully and you think you will drown after all. Still, you keep swimming and as time passes and you learn to trust God and others in your life more, the waves come fewer and farther apart and it still hurts just the same, but you keep swimming…..
    My drowning moments were accompanied by great waves of guilt until one day I was able to left that guilt float completely away. Yes, I still grieve, but I celebrate the lives of my husband, children and our grand daughters. I have also found a way to let God help me celebrate my own life, as it is today. Love and Blessings to you as the Christmas Season nears. And keep taking those awesome pictures of Elizabeth! Warmly, Carol

    • kjohnsonphoto says:

      Thank you Carol, for your beautiful and inspiring words. So many have felt this struggle and not spoken of it – I think it helps us all to share with each other. Thank you for sharing and for your support and encouragement! – Kara

  • Emily says:

    “But sometimes – most times – every time, actually – the griever must just let the grief run it’s course.” Hear, hear! What a lovely post.

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