A Time to Grieve, A Time to Dance

Today’s post is based on chapter 7 of my book, Newness of Life.

Recently I read a post on Jennifer Dukes Lee’s blog about grief, penned by Cheri Gregory.  Cheri wrote so beautifully about grief, I want to include an excerpt here.  

A time to grieve and a time to dance. Eccl. 3:4 #newnessoflife #biblestudy

How Grief Ushers in Gratitude

For much of last year, guilt kept me focused on everything lacking from my relationship with my mother—all that I so desperately wanted but never got from her.

One day, while talking to a friend, I off-handedly described my malfunctioning cell phone as “invented by the devil to make Christians swear!”

Then, I began to simultaneously cry and giggle.

I hadn’t heard that expression in years, not since well before Mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Hearing myself speak her familiar words caused me deep pain yet gave me untold comfort.

I began to notice dozens of little ways in which I’m a lot like Mother:

– The way I “clean as I go” when cooking.

– The way I purse my lips when I’m annoyed.

– The set of my jaw when I’m determined.

– How much my hands look like hers.

– How fast she taught me to walk.

With each new memory come three distinct gifts:

Permission. As I give myself permission to finally grieve—to cry, to wish for what I’d never had, and to miss my mother—guilt loosens its grip.

Compassion. As my guilt subsides, my compassion toward my mother grows. She did the best she knew how to do in the face of myriad difficulties I’ve never known.

Appreciation. Remembrances of my mother are coming back sweeter and sweeter, because I’m intentionally looking for what I can be grateful for in each one.

Over and over again, in a healing cycle:




My overwhelming grief transformed, by God’s grace, into overflowing gratitude.

A healing cycle of grief: permission, compassion, appreciation. #newnessoflife Click To Tweet

Wasn’t that a beautiful reflection by Cheri?  Please leave a comment below on how it affected you.

Now, a special treat about dancing…a memoir poem from my childhood.

Codfish Ball, age 4

Mommy takes me to tap lessons.

I love the click-click sound

of my shiny black shoes

on the wood floor.

We practice and practice

our song and dance

for the Codfish Ball.

My teacher says

we get to perform

for our mommies and daddies.

We get sparkly green leotards

so we look like fish.

Mommy even lets me

wear blush and lipstick.

I smile big for the picture.

When we get to the show

we wait behind a curtain.

I got a peek of what’s out there—

lots of dark faces

and a very bright light.

Suddenly I feel tears.

I don’t want to go!

I don’t want to dance and sing

in front of everyone.

But I practiced so hard

and Mommy wants to see me.

Teacher sees me crying

and sends for Mommy.

I don’t want to cry

but I can’t help it.

Mommy asks, if I go

right behind Teacher

would it be okay?

I will try.

Mommy wipes my tears away

and fixes my blush.

It’s time to go!

The light is so bright

and the faces are so dark

but Teacher is right beside me

and I go first

with all the other girls following me.

I pretend I don’t see anyone

and I just sparkle and dance.

When grief retreats, it's a time to dance. Eccl. 3:4 #newnessoflife #biblestudy


Newness of Life by Sarah Geringer #biblestudy #newnessoflifeQuestions for reflection: (please comment below)

What blessings have you unexpectedly received in a season of grief?

How can you praise God today by simply sparkling and dancing?

My book Newness of Life will help you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in your current season.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him.  We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.

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  • I am so resonating with this ode to grief having been there done that in the past few years, and having had the privilege of walking with women through their seasons of loss. Thank you for going there today …

    • Sarah

      Thanks Linda, I appreciate your kind words. Always enjoy seeing new posts from you too!

  • Thanks for sharing this reflection on grief. It’s so important to allow ourselves to feel it and the cycle of permission, compassion and appreciation is helpful to think about. I enjoyed your poem too.

    • Sarah

      Thank you Lesley! Always glad for your visits!

  • Jo

    I too am a lover of flowers, dark chocolate, and hot tea!!!!! Hot tea can solve many of the worlds problems!!! Thankyou for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment 🙂

    Finding joy in the everyday 🙂

    • Sarah

      Thank you! 🙂

  • A beautiful memoir poem! Sparked memories from my own childhood and dancing 🙂 Thanks for sharing this excerpt on grief

    • Sarah

      Thanks Nicole! Reading your email series right now. Blessings to you!

  • Sarah, in my own season of grief I can see so many blessings that God poured out on me. They are still too painful to talk about but they are very specific ways that God showed up to remind me that I am loved, and He still wants me to sparkle and dance, in spite of, and perhaps because of, the pain. 🙂
    Blessings to you for sharing this.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    • Sarah

      Marva, I pray you will have wisdom in how God wants you to learn from your grief and possibly share with others. Blessings to you!