is defined by Roget's Super Thesaurus as "a purification or cleansing of the soul; release from mental turmoil."
"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside still waters." Psalm 23:1-2
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"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose." Elizabeth Kübler-Ross,MD, On Death and Dying
I did something today I have been talking about for a long time. I unpacked my boxes with my knicknacks in them. This should have been a happy occasion, but it dug deep into my heart and soul, starting me crying. It started when I unwrapped one soapstone box, which brought up memories of Squirt (aka Tweaquie), a cat I had from a tiny kitten, who knocked the box over and broke it. I was so mad at her, but eventually got over it when I glued it back together. As I unpacked more things I continued crying, but eventually stopped. After I finished, the word catharsis came into my mind and when I went to get the definition of catharsis, I picked up a book Mom had given me when she was alive. Once again I started crying. Both Squirt and Mom are gone.
The memory of Squirt brought up memories of other people and cats I've had or known in the past. And as I cried, the pain came from deep inside and felt like it would shred me open. As I wrote this, tears still flowed. I keep wondering if this is cartharsis, why don't I feel relief?
The thing is when death touches our lives, it hurts and hurts very deeply. I found the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross quote when I was going through something very painful. I believe it was after the deaths of my mother and my cat, Monique, only weeks apart. I wrote it on an index card and taped it to the wall near my bed, so that I read the quote many times over. During that time I also had a prayer and meditation time. Jesus brought me through to those quiet still waters. And if I could remember nothing else, I recited the first verse to the 23rd Psalm.
All of us grieve in our own ways and for different things. Grief is not just for the death of loved ones (whether human or not), but also for jobs, moving, loss of friendship, or change. Life is made up of change and our grief moves through stages until reaching a place where we find peace. Grief has no timetable, but can always be put in the hands of Our Saviour to handle when we can't.
My tears may not have brought catharsis today, but I only have to hold out my hand and I know Jesus will take it and guide me through the pain and sadness. And for this, I can smile through the tears.