Songs of Nature

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Fatigue and Rest

Day 8

Written By Eyleen Farmer

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson, Hawkeye Nature Photography


Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee to a far-off place and make my lodging in the wilderness.
—Psalm 55:7-8

Image courtesy of Rebecca Webb Wilson; copyright 2010Grief is hard work. Harder than slogging through a day at the office. Harder than managing a household and getting your kids to the six places they need to be. Harder than operating a forklift or meeting your editor’s deadline. Harder than the most back-breaking, sweat producing physical labor you can do. Grief is harder than running a marathon. Why?

• Because you didn’t ask for this and haven’t trained for it.
• Because you don’t get a paycheck, a medal, or even thanks for a job well done.
• Because no one really understands or cuts you any slack.
• Because grief is relentless; there is no finish line.
• Because every part of yourself—body, mind, and spirit—is impacted.

Grief will make you tired. You may feel a kind of fatigue you’ve never felt before—perhaps a heaviness in your limbs that makes it hard to move, or a lack of motivation to do those tasks that normally are a breeze.

It is important therefore that you be intentional about rest. You must do this for yourself because no one is going to do it for you. You actually can, if you need to or want to, take the day off and stay in your pajamas until four in the afternoon. You can choose to lower your usually high standards (it is an indisputable fact that the world will not end if you don’t get dinner on the table or work longer and later than everyone else). That closet full of your deceased husband's clothes? You really do not have to deal with them right this minute. They will still be there when your energy comes back. And it will.

God created us needing regular rhythms of work and play, activity and rest. In our hyper-frenetic culture it is difficult to live into this rhythm even under the best of circumstances. When we find ourselves traversing the landscapes of grief, it may a good time to rediscover this natural and life-restoring tempo.

O God, help me to accept the gift of rest. Amen.