Editor’s note: Although we’ve begun a new theme for May, we wanted to share this post from last month’s topic on grief, since it shares an interesting perspective on something we have all grieved the loss of at some point in our lives.
By Andrea Stunz
In a recent social media post I began sharing by writing, “I wish I could start with “Good morning”, but I can’t.”
On the same day, in a text conversation with a close friend, she said she would be praying for me to have a good day. I replied, “Good is such a relative term.”
Through both of these exchanges, I came to realize that I’m grieving good. I’m grieving the loss of all I thought was good.
Have you ever seen The Truman Show? Throughout the film, Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, happily exclaims to his neighbors, “Good morning! Oh, and if I don’t see ya’, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”If you’ve seen the film, you understand at the end that everything about his story was a façade of good. Nothing was as he thought it was in his orchestrated, “made for TV” life, founded on lies, deceit and fake friends.
The good that Truman thought was good was certainly not good.
I remember loving that movie when it released in 1998 and have watched it multiple times since. But now, when I discover that my own life has been littered with lies and deceit, the life that I thought was good, the empath in me (which runs strong) feels Truman’s wounds deeply.
In 1998, I was living a false version of good in one area of my life just like Truman was in his entire life. I know that now but didn’t know that then. Knowing what I know now, Truman’s awakening to the truth is quite powerful and spurs big feelings of sadness from my own awakening.
As the producers of The Truman Show(the ones that are actors, not the real producers of the actual film itself) begin to make mistakes, cracks in the storyline appear, and the set begins to crumble, the truth becomes painfully evident. Truman Burbank comes to see that he has been but a pawn for another man’s profit.
I can relate and I’m thinking you probably can too. No one on this planet is immune to loss. John 16:33speaks to this, “In this world you will have trouble.”But without giving away the end of the movie in case you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll just say that it ends well, “but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (I hope you are imagining me fist-bumping you right now! This is GOOD news!!)
One of the hardest things that we can grieve is the loss of our self. The loss of the “me” I thought I was. The loss of the “me” I thought I would be. Perhaps the loss of our self is the hardest thing to grieve, but, oh, how sweet the reunion when we find her (him) again!
As I ponder the great losses in my life, I conclude that it is in surrendering to the death of the previous version of good that grieving can be most productive. And it is in that productive grieving process that hope for a new version of good is seeded.
Grieving what we thought was good serves to make way for something even better. Anything that is living has come from a death.
In surrendering to the winter of good, burying what we thought was good and the dream of the good we thought was to come, the roots of our soul are strengthened, forging the path for a new spring.
One day, I’m confident that I will start a post on social media with “Good morning!” and I will mean it! And I’ll text my friend and discuss the relativity of goodness with a fresh hope.
But first, I must grieve good.
“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” –T.S. Eliot
Andrea Stunz has been a Christ-follower from the age of seven. She is the committed wife to one, loving mom to three amazing adult children, grateful mother-in-law and ridiculously proud grandmother. A well-traveled Texan, having lived in Brazil, Asia, and the UK, Andrea finds joy in her family, grace in her friends, beauty in a story, purpose in the sunrise, wonder in her travels, and hope in Colossians 1:17. Andrea longs to encourage other women by sharing stories because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more from her at AndreaStunz.com.