grieving the death of God

that’s a phrase that’s been rolling around inside of me for about a month now i think. i finally came to realize that some of my grief work involves grieving the death of a God about whom i’d learned while growing up, with whom i related, who i thought i knew…who no longer works (as well) for me anymore. that’s not to say i have completely demolished the foundation i received as a child/teenager at church…but i have definitely knocked out some walls and added on in places and demolished other parts i’d added on. and the renovations are nowhere near complete. but i am still in this process of grief and realizing that i’ve lost the God to whom i’d clung so tightly is kinda scary at times…and once again points to the loss of illusion…which at some point i’m sure i will grieve as well (i’m still pissed off about losing that right now). and i’m not sure who this God is who is springing forth (someone phrased it as “coming out”)…so i’m in the middle of the precarious gray between the known, perceived safe place and the unknown, even more precarious place (because i think God is way more than God does).

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3 thoughts on “grieving the death of God

  1. I really like this phrasing that you’ve used. I really think it is concise, yet an informative view of what happens to people who realize that their indoctrinated view of God/faith/religion ceases to work for them. I can’t think of a better analogy than death and all that is associated with it. mourning, confusion, emptiness, a distancing of one’s self… all appropriate responses to both a death and what you (and others including myself) have felt over the years.

    I was actually thinking about this tonight…asking myself if i am depressed and need to talk to a counselor… I wonder if we go through the same stages of grief when something like this happens. If you think so, what stage do you find yourself in? I’ve been asking myself that same question with the loss of my job, also being a rejection of a big part of my identity… because my heart and soul were poured into the Church.

    I think you have come up with an excellent analogy/expression that people will instantly understand and will be able to relate to. better copyright that ASAP!

  2. i did like your blog posts…especially phil collins.

    as for the other…we often think that grief is limited to the death of someone…a new book out on counseling children/adolescents through grief and loss defines it this way: “grief is an inevitable, never-ending process that results from a permanent or temporary disruption in a routine, a separation, or a change in a relationship that may be beyond the person’s control. this disruption, change or separation causes pain and discomfort and impacts the persons thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Al though loss is a universal experience, the causes and manifestations of it are unique to each individual and may change over time.”

    that is one of the best, most comprehensive definitions of grief i have seen in awhile.

    i think the fallacy in the stages of grief model is that it seems to be pretty cut and dry…a series of stages you reach, sort of like a relay race, with clear-cut beginnings and an ending. and it’s usually not that clean and easy…nor does it ever really end in many cases. it will still come up in some manner because it gets woven into the fabric of your being. i do like the analogy to an oriental rug…as they are handmade, there are bound to be some mistakes along the way, but the artist weaves that into the overall design of the rug (tapestries are the same way) and it simply becomes built into a beautiful work of art.

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