We will all suffer deep loss eventually. A time in our lives where a sadness hangs like a thick fog over a valley, weighty at one glance, but somehow one wades through the fog.

That’s what we do, right?

We keep moving forward through the fog because the fog allows for movement. The world requires movement. And quite possibly the soul requires movement, too.

I messaged my friend going through a deep sadness and she said, “All I can do is keep breathing.”

And even if it is just the breath, we move through the very act of breathing. Breathing while feeding kids dinner, breathing while taking them to movies, breathing while opening an office door and turning on an inhuman computer that somehow feels like a friend.

It’s as if mourning requires movement.

As I walk through a deep sadness, I’ve found myself doing some unlikely tasks, too, and I thought I’d share because if you aren’t facing a heartbreak now, you will. It’s inevitable. Our world is shattered and the shards seem to find a way to break our skin and cut until there’s blood.

And so we bleed; we bleed through our tears and our lonely nights under the sheets and through hallow hellos and empty rooms full of people. And we keep moving. Because movement is necessary to living fully alive.

Here’s how I’ve been moving:

Lately I’ve been waking up and walking out on my wet grass. It is just cold enough to spark my soul into feeling again. It’s as if I need the jolt lately. Like a cold splash of water on my soul. I let myself feel the cold and I remember I’m alive and why I love my life + God + my family. This reminder has become essential to finding joy and participating in life. The jolt feels right and so I keep opening my door and going barefoot into wet grass.

I get my hands dirty and toss around dirt in the middle of my garden, pruning, cutting, digging. I don’t mind the sweat down my spine. In fact, it feels nice to be in the middle of something that has a certain way about it. Prune here, water there, viola! Grow! This feels stable because a heartbreak has no instruction. Neither does a deep sadness. So currently there is dirt under my fingernails and I don’t care to manicure it away.

deep sadness

{Photo credit: Annie Spratt | Unsplash}

deep sadness

{Photo credit: Annie Spratt | Unsplash}

I scrub my chairs that I’ve been meaning to scrub. In fact, at one point I pulled off a thick piece of goo that I can’t quite determine its origin. This act of mourning is none other than going back to movement. Simple acts of completion. This feels good during heartbreak. 

I’ve also given in to a really hard workout. One where you have sweat soaking your entire shirt. Why? Because of the fight. Because we were made to fight things. The world is certainly broken, but God didn’t leave us without gumption + passion + a deep need to seek good. But (typically), heartbreak doesn’t let you fight. So I fight on a treadmill or with a weight and with a relentless pursuit to attack something. Once again, this feels good to wake up and fight. Highly recommended: a dry fit tee.

And finally, I’ve broken on several occasions — crying and giving all my words to God. Just all of them. The good and the bad. The anger and the frustration and the madness. He knows them anyway, doesn’t He? And a wise woman once told me, “His shoulders are big enough to handle my sadness.” So I’ve been giving it to Him. This is a lot for a non-feeler like me. But I give anyway. They say crying is good for the soul and I am simply giving it the nutrients it needs.

deep sadness

{Photo credit: Annie Spratt | Unsplash}

So, we bleed and we move and we give way to unlikely tasks. You needn’t be in a deep sadness to wake up to wet grass or to give way to a good fight on a treadmill. God cares about our mind, body and soul. He is ready to jolt you into feeling alive again no matter what the season. For me, it’s the seeing Him everywhere that’s allowing me to walk through the fog.

We simply keep moving and seeing Him and feeling Him and needing Him and I think that’s how we begin to enjoy our lives. Deep sadness and all.

How have you handled a deep sadness? I think we would all like to know so we can help one another.