The Dumpster

We share a driveway with our neighbor. Our front doors face each other and we see each other a lot. Our neighbor is wonderful – driven, strong, creative, positive. Since she moved in several years ago, she has worked non-stop to make the home her own.  It’s an inspiration!

dumpsterShe’s currently in the middle of a major demolition project. For the past two months, a large dumpster has taken up residence in our shared driveway. Some days, it’s acquires more stuff, but most days it just sits there and doesn’t “do” anything.

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Sadness, it’s-not-fair-ness, jealousy, feeling diminished, unwanted. I usually fight the sadness because in the past it’s led me to a pretty deep pit of depression. But, yesterday I decided to just give in and trust that God was leading me to just *feel* it. It felt so freeing to give myself permission to mulligrub and sulk for a day. It felt right.

Today, I woke up feeling more energy and hope. I drank my coffee in my chair, as I do each morning, looking out the window. At the dumpster. I felt a burst of impatience and anger. Why can’t that beast of a dumpster just GO AWAY? It’s so unsightly and it feels like a big bully – crowding, unyielding, refusing to be ignored.

Aaaaand… here’s another case of “the thing isn’t really The Thing”. I wasn’t really angry at the dumpster. That dumpster was talking to me about my grief. I’m so impatient for my grief to go GO AWAY.  It’s messy and won’t be ignored. There it sits – front and center in my life. Some days, I feel like there’s progress, but most days it just sits there.

So, here I am. Living with my dumpster of grief. I don’t feel despair, rather I feel some acceptance of this piece of my life. Like it’s okay to give in to the sadness from time to time.

Maybe I’ll put sparkly Christmas lights on it since it’ll be here for a while. Then, maybe whenever I encounter it, I can remember that deeper work is happening even when I can’t see it.

3 thoughts on “The Dumpster

  1. A dumpster–what a very good metaphor and to think it’s parked right outside your window. Thank you for walking with honesty and integrity. I am watching and I know others are, as well. We need good teachers to show us the way as it comes to lamenting and grieving the losses of life. Bless you, Lori. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Do you have any plans to come out way soon? We would love to have you!


  2. How often I have wanted my grief to just go away. It’s not that it’s apparent all the time to others or to even me,but there are times like you just described,when the sadness needs to be heard. It just comes out in other ways. Some will say we are feeding it when we pay attention to is. I do not believe that is true as you described it. I like the idea of lights. I think i’ll put up some white lights. The fall is a season of beauty for me and also of grief as I have a lot of anniversaries/birthdays of people I have lost …. starting in August through January. I have come to accept this time when I am more aware of grief than other times. I am going to find those white lights though. time to put them up in the doorway.


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