Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tear Soup

A few weeks ago my brother shared some insight with me about mourning that I found to be very helpful.
I read a book called "Tear Soup" that was so full of warmth and understanding. It put into words perfectly the way that I have felt through many of the differnt emotions and stages of greif. It compares this process to one of making 'tear soup'. It relates that most people are willing to share in one cup of our tear soup. When a tragedy occurs, people want to help in that moment. But, as life would have it, most people are so busy with life, and carrying their own burdens that they move on quickly and don't find it appetizing to consume more than a cup. However, as the books states, and as I have found, there are people who are willing to share in more than a cup of my soup. In fact, there are a few people who have probably had a full pot of it! They have a desire to sit down at my table of greif and partake of my soup when I need to share it. They are those who truly "mourn" with me. Jed shed some light on the difference between grieving and mourning:
The dictionary states: To Grieve is to suffer and endure anguish ALONE. To Mourn is to feel deep sorrow, sadness, and regret, but to be "more public" to share it with others, to not let it stew and grow toxic by keeping it inside.
In 3 Nephi chapter 12 Christ is teaching the people the beattitudes and verse 4 says "And again, blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Mosiah 18:8,9
...as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort,...
I don't think the order of the words in these scriptures are coinsidence. For as I have found, when people are willing to take more than a cup of my soup and mourn with me, I inturn find comfort and my heart finds peace.
In the process of making my soup those first few weeks my pot was filled as tears flowed, questions of doubt were asked, pain clouded my vision, my heartstrings were wrenched, and my soul felt empty. The beginnings of my soup were personal and could only be prepared by me.
However, it was through the taste-tasting of my soup that I first realized my soup was becoming very bitter and hard to get down. I new I couldn't stop making my soup and let is simmer as it was. If that I happened, I knew my soup would eventually be scorched and I wouldn't be able to tolerate it all.
I began to find glimpses of an eternal perspective, and spoonfulls of peace as I realized that it was in the sharing of this soup with others that I'm able to learn and grow...that I am able to go back to my pot and add new ingredients to my soup to make it more sweet. A tablespoon of patience, a cup of understanding, a dash of other's tears, a quart of love, and a handful of joy.
I have learned from all different types of chefs. There are those who have shared parts of their recipe with me because they are making a similar soup, just farther along in their cook time. There are cooks that started their soup around the same time I did, and we're learning together. There are cooks that have made soups from completely different recipes that are willing to share some of their secret ingredients with me. And there are those chefs who have almost perfected their soups that are patient as I ask them for guidance. Every type of chef has something to offer.
I continue to revise my soup, and some days when I taste it I still find it bitter, but I guess my recipe is becoming more balanced because somedays it is especially sweet and enjoyable.
My heart is full of gratitude to those that have lent a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a hug. I have learned so much much by the wisdom others have shared and the examples of those I love. Thank you to those who have contributed to my soup, and who are willing to partake of more than a cup.
It is my hope that I'll be able to share parts of my recipe with others...that someday I can contribute some sweetness to another's pot. It is in this process that we do as the Savior has asked: mourn with those that mourn, and comort those who stand in need of comfort!
I can't wait for the day that I get to share my completed soup with Branson. I hope by then that I'll have perfected my recipe, and that as we share the soup we will be "filled" with joy!

7 comments:

The Hammonds said...

Nat,
By the way you described that book it really does sum up the healing process. I hope you know that when ever you want to talk about Branson Im ready for another taste of soup. Although I cant contribute the exact ingredients you need I will always be here to be a sampler.
Love,
Brandy

Lindsey said...

Natalie, My mom told me about your blog and I've spent the last 2 days catching up and reading your entries. I am really touched by your honesty and faith, and the ability to share your experiences and learnings. Mourning is such a different experience for each of us, but the fact that we can help share in each other's tear soup brings us together in a way that can help to heal. Thanks so much for your blog. I'm heartbroken at your loss and wish you and your family the best.

Kara said...

Beautifully written post... it sounds like a very good book, I will have to read it.

janetkimballbird said...

Dear Natalie,
I have read over your blog a number of times with the intent of letting you know how very proud I am of you, how deeply moved I am by your journey and the willingness you have to share it with others. Each time I sat down to let you know I was thinking of you I would break into sobs. Even now as I write this, tears are streaming down my face. I hurt for you as only a mother who has gone through a similar trial can hurt. Like you I felt the need to write out my feelings and thoughts. My efforts are all in the form of prose and verse. I believe Heavenly Father councils us to write in our journals for the very healing it can bring and the insights we gain as we write our thoughts down. Please know that your efforts to share in the "journey to heal" will indeed help others along the same path. You are in my prayers, Janet

Gordon and Jackie said...

Dearest Natalie; Thank you for letting "your light so shine before men" and your heartstrings be felt through your entries in your "Journey to Heal". I've tried to share this with others who I know have tear soup too and I'm sure it helps them in ways you may never know. Love, Mom

TIM & MISTY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TIM & MISTY said...

I don't even know who this is yet to be honest... I actually linked from one friends blog to another and ended up here on accident. This is such a personal blog and I didn't mean to violate your privacy, but started reading thinking it was my friends blog. I realized it wasn't hers pretty quickly, but was hooked after reading only the little bit I did and after I realized what this blog was about. I have struggled with fertility issues for several years and been through many things with that, so I know how feelings of desire and hope can be crushed so quickly with disappointment and fear. I have a friend who has been through the same thing as you and has a blog very similar to yours as well. You could probably share your experiences at some point and help each other deal better than others who haven't been through the same thing and can't truely understand. I am actually going through some cruddy things right now and just wanted you to know that this particular post helped me today. I may be a stranger, but your openness honestly made a difference in my life. Thank you for your willingness to share and give insight that not many would be able to. I learned from your post that not only am I not having a pitty party for myself (as I've been calling it), but I am grieving and mourning. Also, that not only is it okay to grieve & mourn, but it is necessary. I feel so much better in this moment. Thanks again! :)