Talking tonight made me think about the word dwelling. The dictionary says that it means to live or continue in a given condition or state or to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing. What do you dwell on? Where does your mind stay?
It’s a strange place to be as a grieving parent and a parent of a living baby. It seems like there are times I take turns being sad and joyful. Just this past week with all of the rain, I constantly thought about Doria’s little grave that would be flooded over and her marker would be muddy. I chose not to visit because I did not want to see water over her. On the other hand, most of the week was also full of joy when watching Zoe be more mobile and learning new things.
Dwelling also makes me think about Philippians 4:4—8:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Grieving is all consuming for everyone at some point. It is normal and not unexpected for it to be all you can think about. Yet to constantly dwell in sadness is not good for anyone in the long run either. The Doctor that delivered Doria was very firm and very concerned for us. He warned us about depression and spoke to us about signs that might mean we need to get help. I have worked in a nursing home and have seen people give up. All they could think about were negative thoughts and their health became worse and some even died.
Your loss will never go away. You can make the decision (and it may be a hard one) to think on something else. To purposefully distract your mind from the negative thoughts to something better. It does take time. You have to find out what will help you (and that is healthy). Verse eight has several good ideas to start with.