In the aftermath of life crises, loss, or a new diagnosis, people often tell us “take your time.” Indeed, we need time to digest what has happened and how it will affect our lives going forward. But we might also hear, “it’s too soon…” or “don’t you think it’s time you…” and these questions, often spoken from concern and compassion, might jar us.
When is it too soon to pick up life activities? When, for example, is it too soon to begin dating when someone has lost his or her spouse?
When is it “too late” to return to a group, work, or church responsibilities?
How long does the mourning process take?
I think the important word in this question is “process.”
Getting used to a diagnosis, for example, is a process. It takes time to take in all the information we need to understand a new physical challenge, and it certainly takes time to understand all that it means to life ongoing.
Losing a loved one, too, sets us on a path, a process unfolding, as we move along. As such, it is not a smooth road, but rather one that has dips and turns and, yes, u-turns, too. Tears punctuate progress. Memories arise in the moment. It’s certainly not a comfortable, pain-free way to journey. But it’s part of the whole fabric of life and, inevitably, does lead to peace.
Only we know, individually, when it is too soon or too late, but we have to be honest with ourselves as we travel through whatever process we are experiencing. For hanging on, denying, and refusing to live as God wills for us can be present in the process, too, and these can hold us back from accepting, moving ahead, and healing.
Blessings for the day!