Tag Archives: grief

Processing Confusing Emotions

My grandpa died this week.

Even typing that is confusing. It’s something I’ve been preparing for, but I still feel numb. I don’t handle death very well. It’s been six years since my grandmother died and I still have dreams about her. I never dreamed about her when she was alive.

I wasn’t close to my grandparents. This week, I’ve spent a lot of time outside, going through memories, and I was not pleased to learn that many of them are negative, including my first memory. My spiritual director has been telling me we will work on going through bad experiences and finding the good in them, so they’re no longer hard to visit. I’ve been trying to do that, but it’s hard, because I was so young. I’ve been remembering being at my grandparent’s house and playing with my cousins. I remember the big backyard and driveway, the basement where we played old records of “Camelot” and watched “Singin’ in the Rain” a million times. I’ve been trying not to dwell on the fact that in those memories, my grandparents are not really in them. They’re around, their home is the setting, but they’re not there.

I think my grief is for my mom. I saw her as the primary caregiver for my grandparents, and I saw how much she loved them. She was always taking my grandpa to get plants and gardening with him. She was always consistent about calling to check in. With both of them gone, there’s a huge empty space now, and I know it will take time for her to process that. It’s my job to be there for her where I can.



I lost my pet hedgehog on November 5th to a sudden heart attack. It still feels surreal, to think about it. He was the first pet I’ve had in my life that died of natural causes, while I held him. For the first few days, I just felt sad, like a piece of me was missing. Going upstairs at night was the worst, because I would always go check on him, change his water, etc. My schedule was thrown off.

The later part of the week, I started feeling guilty. People had thrown out various ideas about what could have caused his death, and a hibernation attempt kept coming up. Hedgehogs hibernate in the wild, but if they try to hibernate while they’re indoors and domesticated, it can kill them because they haven’t been prepping all autumn long. I kept watching the last video I took of him over and over again, trying to figure out why he was wobbling. I looked at his pictures, comparing them, to see if he had lost weight and I hadn’t noticed.

It didn’t help that I didn’t have much to work last week, since I was ahead of a project and waiting for another one. To keep busy, I paid more attention to the dog. We went walking. I took him upstairs to nap with me, since that was usually what Baxter and I did every day. I cleaned more. Still, every night, I had to pass his door, knowing he wasn’t there.

I still haven’t cleaned up his room. I’ve decided to get a cage for my next hedgehog, whenever that will be, so I’ll be throwing away all of Baxter’s old house, which I made with cardboard boxes. I have two bags of cat food I don’t know what to do with. I don’t want to wash his snuggle sack, because then I’ll lose his scent forever.

Grieving a pet is weird, especially since I was the only one who spent time with him, because it’s so personal. At the same time, it isn’t, because Baxter had over 9,000 followers on Instagram, and people who saw him on Facebook and loved him. That’s made me feel better. I’m not totally alone in this.

What Do We Grieve?

Maybe we’re just too overwhelmed by all the tragedy in the world, that we can only choose to grieve what the media tells us to grieve.

My Newsfeed is a splash of French flags. Every major news outlet is sending out updates on identified victims, graphs, testimonials, and what world leaders are saying.

But this sort of thing happens every day. Facebook didn’t make it possible for users to change their profile pics to the flag of Lebanon. There was no “safety check” when Beirut was attacked. I’ve heard people call the Paris attack “France’s 9/11,” and that’s definitely true in the sense it is an attack in a country where this sort of thing doesn’t happen all the time. Is that why we’re told to care so much? Is it not really about the fact people died? Is it about people dying in a Western city that’s known in America for love, culture, and tourism, while Middle Eastern countries are portrayed as inherently bloody and violent, where life is taken so frequently our emotions can’t keep up? What are we being told to grieve, exactly? People? Or only certain people?

I can’t change my profile picture to France’s colors. I’m not going to hold it against anyone who does or accuse them of not caring about other victims of terror, but for me, I don’t want to immerse myself any further in the idea that this is the only tragedy going on right now. The media is already doing that for me.

I wrote a book!

So, I wrote a little book called “To the Brokenhearted: Being a Christian with Depression,” and it will be coming to Kindle very soon. I’m using their direct publishing service, and I’m super excited for everyone to check it out. It’s about my experiences with depression and anxiety, specifically as a Christian, and the lessons I’ve learned on how to deal with symptoms, people who deny mental illness, and so on. I have an author page on Facebook set up: https://www.facebook.com/eshubertyauthor

“Like” me and stay tuned!

Is It Ok For Christians To Get Angry?

When I say angry, I do not mean miffed. Annoyed. Upset. I mean angry. The kind of angry where your face gets hot and steam shoots out of your ears.

I say that it is.

If you have experienced abuse, you can get angry. If you’ve suffered a deep betrayal, you can get angry. You can get angry about anything. To say that you cannot, is to censor your feelings, which are very often justified. Getting angry at Mark Driscoll for leading a church that has been exposed as spiritually abusive towards many people, especially if you are one of many who has been spiritually abused? Justified. Getting angry at all those priests and pastors who have recently been accused of sexual abuse in the state of Minnesota? Justified.

Anger is a lot like grief. In fact, in psychology, it is listed as the second response to grief. People saying all “the right things” does not help. When you experience grief, so many people are there with their two cents: “It’s part of God’s plan. He never gives us more than we handle. I’ll pray for you.” It feels like you are not allowed to rant, you are not allowed to get out that out. If you stay silent, it simmers. It brews. It poisons.

People, Christians included, need to be allowed to get angry, to ask God, “Why?” The entire book of Job is dedicated to one man’s rantings and ravings. His friends try to help, but they just make things worse.

In the end, it’s Job and God. That’s where healing really begins. Anger needs to be healed, just as grief does. And it only happens between an individual and God. People, with all their wise words, their scolding, their attempted empathy, all fade into the background. That’s where anger can turn into something else.


About Megan

She was my best friend in 5th grade. She loved bandanas. And I loved her.

She was the first friend whose home felt like my home. We swam in her pool and looked up alien languages on the Internet. She was my first and only “practice” kiss.

That year was long, but eventually, it ended, and we both changed schools. We began to drift, both finding different friends, but I missed her. I didn’t know how to communicate that without sounding needy.

Years went by.

I heard secondhand about her struggles with depression and when my own mental illness worsened, I thought often about her. If we had met at a different time, we might have walked that road together.

From Facebook, I read about her adventures, going to England, visiting cats at shelters, comforting strangers, and dreaming about India. She loved fiercely and without apology. She wore her heart on her sleeve and it was open to everyone. Through her grueling experience with depression, her optimism and strength shocked me. I envied her ability to not let her illness hold her back.

Her life was short – much too short – but she lived it to the fullest.




thank God for jealousy

for yearning love


for loving silences, sharp knives

for nights of fire and punished crimes


thank God for sleeplessness

for the daily grind


for rat races, repetitive blame

for wide-ruled lines and waiting for rain


thank God for open wounds

for unhealed scars


for pink-rimmed eyes, pinched nerves

for lessons hard learned and prayers that went unheard