Silence is Violence

Back in the 80’s when I was heavily involved in Battered Women Support Groups, both as a client in some and a facilitator in others, we had a commonly mentioned phrase: ‘Silence is Violence’. In such a setting, it was used as a wake-up call for women whose husband/partner was ignoring them or simply not speaking with them. This phrase popped into my head this week after a couple more weeks of silence from one of my children. Though I had attempted to reach out on a couple of occasions, there was no response. I began to spiral down into feelings of worry, feelings of rejection, feelings of being unloved and ‘un-cared’ about. Then this little phrase from over three decades ago presented itself. Once I was able to give it a name, identify what I was dealing with, a turn-around began to take place within. This does not mean that when one is being silent, that they are choosing to do so to intentionally hurt us. They may have other things going on in their life which is preventing them from responding for whatever reason.

A Time to be Silent and a Time to Speak (Eccl. 3:7b)

We need Wisdom and discernment as to when to remain silent and when to speak out.

After my adopted son was raped, we went to speak with his counselor at the facility in which he had been placed because of his special needs. It was the top facility in our area which came highly recommended. Yet at this facility he, along with three or four others, was raped by one of his care-workers whose only credential was that he had been a Sunday School Teacher at some Church. When I entered into the conversation with his well-credentialed therapist, I asked him: “If you heard a man speaking to a child out on the sidewalk in the manner in which this rapist spoke to my son, would you intervene?” He thought about it for a moment, and then replied: “No”. I was both dumbfounded and enraged. “Are you seriously telling me you wouldn’t intervene if you heard such inappropriate comments?” I ended up walking out never to return. We sued that facility, along with that therapist and the officials that recommended this Institution, on our son’s behalf. Laws were changed, credentials and screening procedures instated for child-workers, people got fired, etc., as a result. This was NOT the time to remain silent.

Silence when used as a ‘control’ tool of another is cruel and a form of violence, especially when the controller is intentionally using it to make another feel poorly about themselves or in an attempt to manipulate them into a ‘lower position’ in a relationship. It can be a ‘power-play’. When a person finds themselves begging another to: “p-l-e-a-s-e talk to me”, that’s an alarm for a wake-up call.

When we become aware of an injustice or inappropriate behaviour, this is usually not a time to remain silent. However, we need to pray for Wisdom as to when, where, and what words need to be spoken. We need discernment. Words spoken inappropriately or at an inappropriate time, can cause incitement and only antagonize a situation.

On the other hand, there are times in which it is wise to remain silent. If we know that speaking out at a specific time will incite and perpetuate more violence, we may have to ‘bridle our tongue’, at least momentarily. This may require great restraint on our part, but we have to wisely choose the time and place to speak out.

Such discernment is often required when someone is grieving. There are times in which we need to speak comforting words; there are times when silence and simply ‘being’ with a griever is more helpful than any words that can be spoken. We have to remember that it’s not about what we want, but rather about what is constructive and truly helpful at the moment in whatever situation we find ourselves. There is no ‘law’, no blanket rule’, as to when to speak or when not to ‘speak’. If only it were that simple. Rather, we need to seek God for His Wisdom in each and every such situation.

When confronted with any sort of injustice, ‘timing is everything’. The manner in which we speak out against such things, and the words and setting chosen, can either ignite a fire or put one out. Once again, we need balance and ‘temperance in all things’. When we know someone who is grieving, a similar balance is necessitated. We may deeply desire to alleviate another’s pain, yet we need to do so in a manner which is best for the griever and not simply because we desire to alleviate our own pain in watching another suffer. There are times when a person needs to ‘feel’ their pain to work through it. Alleviating that pain at the moment may only be ‘kicking the can down the road’. There are times when we need to choose silence even though it hurts us to do so, if it is in the best interest of another. Silence can be a form of respect — respect for the reality of the pain and suffering.

Bottom line, silence can be violence…or silence can prevent the perpetuation of violence. We need to choose wisely.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

Don’t Let go!…P-L-E-A-S-E

A couple of months ago after I had been suffering from a double ear infection, both internally and externally in the same ear, I developed that awful Vertigo after six weeks. I have battled with this in the past and performed the Epley Maneuver on myself, but this time I needed the Doc to do it. Thankfully, those two strong reassuring women held me in place as I felt as if I would spin out into space while pleading: “Please…Don’t let go!”

I have come to realize that I often have similar feelings in my soul. My Grief often takes me places I never knew existed. My mind will race with heart-wrenching thoughts and memories which refuse to be quieted. Fears will attack, to rob me of any peace. Sorrow will overwhelm robbing me of any Joy. The pain is truly excruciating. At such moments, I need to call upon the Great Physician. Distractions and forms of escape are only temporary. I need reassurance and Hope to cling to if I am going to survive such overwhelming times. When I’m missing my Baby, I find Rivers that run so deep with a velocity that surely will sweep me under without that Rock to cling to. Worse, are the times when I’m fully aware that no strength of my own within can enable me to hold on. That is when I need another to hold on to me. I lose my grip; I need One Who will not lose His.

When the utter helplessness overwhelms and all pride is forsaken, I need to trust that another can sustain me. I need to believe there is Someone greater than myself, Someone stronger and more able. Without that Faith and that Hope, I am left with only me… the crushed, shattered, broken me and that simply does not suffice. I have had to learn to cling, while He holds. I have had to learn to ‘let go of the wheel’ and allow Him to be my ship’s Captain. I have had to learn to let go in order to not fall. Such things often contradict our natural inclination. They are the dichotomies of Grief survival, the oxymoron of Grief. Learning to do the ‘unnatural’ is a difficult and lengthy process. Yet, this is my new life. “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:34-35). Dying to ‘self’ and trusting God that such will produce Life is a daily struggle, at times. Yet, it is my only Hope on this journey.

In the end, I know somehow, some way, it will have all been worth it. In the end, whatever cost I may have paid will seem minuscule. All my reason of my natural mind fights against it. My logic whispers: ‘I am a fool’. My soul beats against the goads. An internal battle often ensues with rage. But then, when I finally reach that point of ‘letting go and letting God’, that which defies my natural mind’s thinking takes hold. That Peace which surpasses all of my own understanding takes root. In the Christ, truly for me to die is to live. He grabs on when I stumble and am about to fall. Never has He, nor shall He, forsake me. Do I prefer to dictate to my Creator as to when, how, and where He shall? Absolutely. Oh silly me.

Death to the
soul
– and – Life to the
Spirit
1 Corinthians 2:2, “I resolved to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

So Weary…SO SO Weary

Ever have someone say to you: “STOP! acting like a victim!”

Now, I’m not precisely sure how a victim ‘acts’. However, here’s my litany of ‘life experiences’:

Molested between ages 4-7.

Witnessed an abundant of physical abuse toward my two half-brothers.

Witnessed my sister’s molestation.

Parents divorced at age 10.

Raped at age 15 while still a virgin.

Raped again three months later by the molester when 4-7.

Twenty-four years in a very abusive marriage…being thrown, kicked, punched, had a knife put to my throat, spat upon, etc.

Endured 4 pregnancy losses.

My son and companion died at age 20.

My youngest talks to me only when in need.

My next in line ‘plays games’ and is close to the ex that abused me and attempted to kill me.

My eldest has been ill for 8 yrs.

I have low oxygen that causes me to cease breathing at night so have been on oxygen for 2 yrs.+.

I have a crippled spine that causes leg spasms that twist me into a pretzel screaming in pain.

Arthritis has set in making my hands and knees swell causing pain.

I’ve had skin cancer in the past.

Hmmmm….

So, if I do act like a ‘victim’, at times… Is it learned behaviour? Could it be that perhaps I sometimes ‘act’ like a victim because I have been victimized?

I’m not ‘acting’. 

But in spite of it all, I KNOW in Whom I have believed!!!

2 Timothy 1: (NIV)

12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

 

 

Graciousness in Grief

When I was in my twenties towing four young boys behind me (ages 8, 4, 2 and a newbie) everywhere I went, I would have days in which I was utterly exhausted. I loved those days and if I had a chance to do them over again, I would in a heartbeat. Nevertheless, some days drained me of all my energy. At such times, I had a tendency to be abrupt with some people. My patience would be running thin. On one such day, an elderly woman who was the Pastor’s wife at the Church we attended, turned to me with a smile on her face and gently said: “There’s never an excuse not to be Gracious”. It was a tender rebuke and I have never forgotten it. Though sadly I don’t always adhere to it, I can still hear her rebuke ring in my ears thirty-six years later when I don’t. Why? Because she spoke Truth to me that day and try as we may, at times, Truth plants a seed that is not easily forgotten.

In my Grief, there are days when I once again am utterly drained. Aging and physical pain only compounds the lack of energy. On such days, it is a struggle to ward off my impatience. I will easily give way to depression and discouragement; the desire to simply throw up my hands and quit looms. Yet, those wise words still ring in my ears. However, I have discovered what can turn such feelings around on a dime…a simple act of kindness.

One day last year, I had to get supplies at the local store and I was running on low energy. My grief was on overload as I was facing my son’s anniversary of his demise and I was not at all up to the task. But it had to be done out of pure necessity. I managed to run some errands and purchase my supplies, but every step was a struggle. It felt as if I was carrying a fifty pound weight on my back. The pain I was feeling both physically and emotionally was taking its toll. I had one last stop to make, to drop off a bill in the mailbox. By this point, I just wanted to get home and my patience was now on empty. As I pulled up by the mailbox, a woman was attempting to cross over in front of me for she was also headed to the mailbox. I didn’t want to stop to let her cross over; I wanted to ignore her and be done with my list of things to do. However, I almost grudgingly did stop and permit her to go ahead of me. She was very gleefully smiling as she scooted across, and I think I was able to squeeze out a little smile in return.

After she dropped off her letter, she turned to cross back over and then realized I, too, had a letter to mail. She came over to my car and apologetically said she hadn’t realized that I was also attempting to get to the mailbox and then said she’d take my mail to the box for me. I hesitantly handed it to her as I battled with a momentary trust issue. As she returned to the box to mail it, she even stepped to one side as she did so that I could clearly see her mail it and close the chute. She was quite lightheartedly doing this. She then with more glee smiled and waved at me as she went on her way.

At this point, I simply sat there in my car and broke down in tears. My body was in so much pain at this point, that getting out of the car for one more brief errand would have felt like climbing Mt. Olympus. I was missing my boy terribly. I was feeling unloved, alone, unappreciated by everyone in my life. Once again, I was having to endure all my grief alone. This woman’s simple act of kindness opened the dam. The tears uncontrollably flowed. Though they were tears of great sorrow, they were also tears of great healing. I had been bottling them up inside, but her kindness was the key that allowed them to be released. I think she may have been an Angel; she certainly was one to me.

One never knows what another may be carrying on any given day. I’m so grateful that I stopped the car and chose to be Gracious that day and permit this woman to go ahead of me, even if I had done so begrudgingly. What I received in return was abundantly more than what I had given. The blessing this woman bestowed on me was so much more than the simple act of placing a letter in a mailbox for me. Whenever I am reminded of her act of kindness, I say a prayer for God to bless her.

Hebrews 13: (NKJV)

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

The Stigma of Suicide

I ran across these statistics today and wanted to try and raise awareness on the topic of Suicide among the young. Many are shocked when they hear of a young child who died by suicide. It’s not a topic often addressed because of ‘The Stigma of Suicide’.

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Watch for these signs. They may indicate someone is thinking about suicide. The more signs you see, the greater the risk. (YSPP)

  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Current talk of suicide or making a plan
  • Strong wish to die or a preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Signs of depression, such as moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Hinting at not being around in the future or saying good-bye

These warning signs are especially noteworthy in light of:

  • a recent death or suicide of a friend or family member
  • a recent break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or conflict with parents
  • news reports of other suicides by young people in the same school or community

Other key risk factors include:

  • Readily accessible firearms
  • Impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Lack of connection to family and friends (no one to talk to)

What to do if you see the warning signs?
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If he or she has expressed an immediate plan, or has access to a gun or other potentially deadly means, do not leave him or her alone. Get help immediately.

These steps can be effective:

1- Show you care …

Often, suicidal thinking comes from a wish to end deep psychological pain. Death seems like the only way out. But it isn’t. Let the person know you really care. Talk about your feelings and ask about his or hers. Listen carefully to what they have to say.

“I’m worried about you, about how you feel.”
”You mean a lot to me. I want to help.”
”I’m here, if you need someone to talk to.”

2- Ask the question …

Don’t hesitate to raise the subject. Talking with young people about suicide won’t put the idea in their heads. Chances are, if you’ve observed any of the warning signs, they’re already thinking about it. Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way. Get the conversation started.

“Are you thinking about suicide?”
”Do you really want to die?”
“Do you want your problems to go away?”

3- Get help …

Never keep talk of suicide a secret, even if they ask you to. It’s better to risk a friendship than a life. Do not try to handle the situation on your own. You can be the most help by referring your friend to someone with professional skills to provide the help that he or she needs, while you continue to offer support.

“I know where we can get some help.”
”Let’s talk to someone who can help…let’s call the crisis line,now.”
“I can go with you to get some help.”

I’m posting this because for me, Suicide is personal. I attempted suicide at age fourteen and again at 39; I have two relatives that chose this route, one of which was nineteen years old; I have a good friend that went this way, as well.

It’s important to be vigil in regards to these warning signs. Because many victims of suicide never speak of their intent to anyone, parents of children who have left us this way have their grief compounded. Thirty-four years ago when my nineteen year old brother-in-law who was ten years younger than myself chose this way out of his pain, it devastated me. The last time I saw him, the look on his face, still haunts me at times. The ‘Why didn’t I say something?’ still pops into my head and that occurred thirty-five years ago this coming November. As we can see by the statistics, this is very … too … common. We need to break the silence on this matter. If we are able to see any of the warning signs, we need to speak up. We can’t allow fear to stop us. We can’t simply dismiss any ‘gut feelings’ we may be having. We need to not avoid the Bereaved Parents in such a situation. Their battles are unimaginable often even for other Bereaved Parents. We need to educate, we need to reach out.

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

Rose-Colored Glasses

But these rose colored glasses
That I’m looking through
Show only the beauty
‘Cause they hide all the truth

–John Conlee
Today our culture often stresses the ‘Be Happy’, the ‘Be Positive’, in spite of the reality that is staring them in the face. It’s a form of idealism, and often of denial. Idealism in itself is not inherently a bad thing, but it can be. An Idealist will see things as they might or should be rather than as they are. Such a person is often motivated by their idealistic perspective to try and make the world a better place as they perceive it ought to be. Idealistic individuals will often see potential in others rather than their shortcomings. They will essentially ignore any faults as a result. Idealistic folks are viewed as the optimistic ones. They will often point out the silver-lining in things, even in the worst of situations. They are the ones who will often say: ‘Well, at least…”. Others have wisely stated in response: “There is no ‘at least’ in child loss’.
Idealists, however, have a downside. Their perspective often ignores the reality of a situation. An idealistic wife married to a batterer will remain a prisoner of a violent situation because she will continually focus on the ‘honeymoon’ stage of the violence, ignoring the rest of the cycle. When a bereaved Momma has had a pregnancy loss, an idealist will often come alongside her and in an attempt to point out the silver-lining will say: “At least you can have other children”. Such a statement causes more injury, though, to the bereaved. It devalues the child that was to be; it dismisses the pain of the grieving.
I use to be an Idealist many many moons ago when I was young. I truly believed that ‘world-peace’ was possible; I truly believed that if I did all the right things, everything in my life would go well and I would be happy. I hadn’t yet lived my life long enough to learn that bad things do happen to good people; that no matter how much I extended love to others, there would be those that rejected it and would choose hate. As I matured, I took off my ‘Rose-Colored Glasses’ and became a Realist. Those who are still wearing those rosey glasses, at times will perceive me as being ‘negative’. No. I’m simply choosing to ‘be real’. I still choose to follow:

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Folks often cherry pick the words in that verse. The idealists will focus on the ‘lovely’, that which is of ‘good report’. Yet, they ignore that which is ‘true’ and ‘honest’ and ‘just’. Then they place upon such thinking a pleasant sounding term: ‘Positive Thinking’. If anyone comes along and speaks Truth, their bubble gets popped. They reject a ‘truth-sayer’ and either dismiss them or react in anger. They may even proclaim: ‘You just don’t want to feel better’. TILT! I’m sure such do exist, but in my personal experience in my almost sixty-four years, I’ve never met anyone who truly does not want to be happy.

Seeing things for what they are, in Truth, does not make a person ‘negative’. It may mean embracing the harsh reality of things which may be anything but pleasant, but it doesn’t mean they are incapable of having an inner Joy especially when they place their trust in God. Paul despaired of life itself, yet he simultaneously rejoiced in all things. He did so because he was able to separate his hardships from his eternal life in God’s Spirit. He did not rejoice in his circumstances; he rejoiced in the Lord in the midst of his horrific circumstances. HUGE difference. The Idealist will try and rejoice in his circumstances, themselves. The same applies to gratefulness. We will never be grateful that our child is no longer physically with us. We can, however, still be grateful that we have Hope of seeing our child again for all eternity, never again to be parted.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Romans 12:15) seems to often be taken out of balance. Those that are mourning often find great difficulty in rejoicing with another when something good happens in their life. It even produces anger and envy, at times. They believe that because they weep, everyone else must be weeping, too. Conversely, those that are rejoicing in their life are often unwilling to weep with those who weep. They don’t want anyone raining on their parade so they avoid the one who is mourning. They don’t want to be ‘brought down’. Why can’t we who mourn be happy for those who have something good happening in their lives? Why can’t the person rejoicing take time to come alongside the one who is weeping? Are we so afraid that as the mourner that our grief will be dismissed? Are we so afraid as the rejoicer that we will no longer be able to rejoice if we take time to walk through the valley of grief with another?

Grief and Joy do not oppose one another. Both can exist simultaneously, which brings me back around to Rainbows. If rain and sun can abide side by side producing the beautiful colors of the rainbow, can’t rejoicers and mourners do likewise? Am I now being idealistic by thinking so? No. I’m being a realist. While Jesus was sweating drops of blood, He was able to endure because of the Joy set before Him. It is possible in Christ to both rejoice and weep. When we are weeping and recall our child’s laughter, for that moment we smile in the midst of our tears and heartache. I think of attending the weddings of two of my children. I was happy for them, yet I cried over the loss of what was. It’s called: ‘Tears of Joy’. It’s the bittersweet moments that bring together the weeping and rejoicing, as they become one. We don’t need ‘Rose-Colored Glasses’ to be at peace, the peace which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

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(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

The Rainbow of Grief

I keep thinking about the colors of a Rainbow. Rainbows always seem to spark a bit of Hope in my heart. I know that in some areas, such as Ireland, it is not uncommon to see two, even three, rainbows appear in the Heavens. I, however, have only seen two appear simultaneously on one occasion. It was such a novelty in my area, that traffic came to a halt as folks stepped out of their cars to admire this magnificent site. It truly was beautiful. A sense of calm and ‘awesomeness’ embraced the spectators. People could not help but smile after their initial astonishment began to fade. Their faces glowed as if every person in the crowd felt personally blessed.

A few days ago, I fumbled around to make a little ‘meme’ that stated: ‘When it’s raining, but the sun is shining, we see rainbows’. It was such a simple thought, yet I knew I had to go deeper with it. On the ‘meme’, I also commented: ‘When a memory brings a smile in the midst of tears.’. I thought about the old saying that a pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow. I also thought of how God used a rainbow in Genesis 9:13 as a sign of His promise: “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.” According to the Scriptures, rainbows also appear in Heaven. Revelation 10:1 says: “Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.” What an awesome sight that must have been in the vision given to the Apostle John. Revelation 4:3 states: “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” It’s almost as if seeing a rainbow is giving us just a little peak into Heaven itself. Perhaps, that is the reason folks are in awe when they see one. It is believed that a “rainbow is a sign from the Almighty that we are not forgotten”. 

Before reading up a bit on rainbows, I discovered something new which I did not know,  that they are actually a full circle. We normally only view a half arc from our perspective. But in reality, there is no end to a rainbow. Religions and Mythologies have all differed somewhat as to their explanations of such a magnificent sight, yet all seem to relate them in some form to their gods. Wordsworth related a rainbow to the cycle of life:

Wordsworth’s 1802 poem “My Heart Leaps Up” begins:

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!…

When we begin our Grief Journey, Black is all we sometimes see. Darkness envelops us and most will wear black to the funeral. The hearse is also black. Black is the ‘color’ of the underworld; it is the absence of color (and is therefore not a color). This opposes white which is composed of all the colors of the spectrum. A rainbow is proof of this. Light is ‘white’. Yet, when we mix all the primary colors together, we get black. Now that has me scratching my head. So, I decided to look up the colors of a rainbow, of which there are seven visible predominant colors. They are:

  1. Blue
  2. Yellow
  3. Pink
  4. White
  5. Green
  6. Red
  7. Purple

To some degree or another, once we move away from black, we begin to embrace these different colors on our pathway through Grief. That prompted me to explore the significance of each color.

Blue is usually considered a cool and calming color. We love blue skies. Yet we often use the word: ‘blue’ to signify that we are very sad. Musically, I am very fond of the ‘Blues’. Somehow, listening to some good Blues music often leaves me feeling somewhat better. Perhaps, because doing so helps me to release the sadness.

Yellow is usually associated with cheeriness; the brighter, the cheerier. I don’t wear much yellow. However, when the sun is shining which we associate with the color yellow, it does help lighten the day conversely to a dark and gloomy day. Yellow is associated with energy. There are not many days in grief in which we feel very energetic.

Pink is often still associated with little girls. It signifies unconditional love and nurturing with a tad bit of silliness attached that often produces a smile. Pink is associated with caring and compassion. Pink is also associated with Hope that inspires feelings of warmth and comfort. It is the heat of red softened by the cooling of white’s gentleness.

White usually represents purity. It signifies something clean and bright as in white linen. It is Light which produces all the colors of the Rainbow. It is innocence, wholeness, completion. Revelation 19:8 states: “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of saints.” It is the ‘opposite’ of black. It is the color of perfection. It is the blank slate, waiting to be written upon. The color of snow. Isaiah 1:18b: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”.

Green is a relaxing color, it is the color that predominates in nature. It signifies life and Creation. We normally cannot think of a Garden without seeing the color green. It signifies growth. I used a lot of different shades of green when I painted my camp. The siding is green, as well. It is said to have healing powers. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that I purchased my little camp as a place of healing for myself and my three surviving children after my son’s demise. It is believed that green is a ‘balancer’; that it brings equilibrium between the head and the heart.

Red is often associated with heat, as well as, anger. It’s a robust color, often a favorite of many though I was personally always perplexed by that. I never was particularly fond of red, though I do love red roses. But even in roses, I prefer yellow and white ones which I have had in my garden. Because of the abundance of anger I have seen portrayed around me throughout my lifetime, I naturally back away a bit from this color. But ‘seeing red’ is often what many of us have done at some point along this grief journey. When I see ‘red’, I stop…as in a stop sign or red light. Red is the first visible color of the rainbow, and often the first we see in our grief.

Purple I love. As a child, my bedroom walls were painted in a soft purple to lilac color. I have lilac bushes in my yard at my camp. The scent of them in bloom soothes me. Purple is often associated with spirituality. Priests wear purple during Lent as a symbol of pain and suffering. It is seen as the color of passion. Some believe it promotes stability. Purple is the combination of blue and red and often is associated with royalty and nobility. They clothed Jesus in purple in mockery (Mark 15:17).

The great difference between those of the Lord’s who are covered in purple and those of Satan that are covered in purple is that the Lord clothed his own with purple, but the bride, kings, and people of Satan covered themselves with purple. – Denton

As we travel our grief journey, we embrace all of the colors of the rainbow in due season as we journey toward the White Light.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

(Everything Has Its Time)

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

 

Image result for rainbow noah photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))