Giving into Grief
I come here often, to this place where grieving hearts pour their souls and others find a refuge in the words written by those who at least to some degree “get it”. And it’s odd and equally frightening, the way life escapes. Reading articles on Still Standing feels like walking through an art gallery of my own life, but one decked with landmines and broken dreams. It reminds me of how fragile grief leaves us the very first time our hearts swell with it’s sudden existence. Grief forces this permanent residence in our hearts and lives and we naturally embrace it — giving into the only piece of our lives that makes any sense.
But after so much time, this place reminds me just how mysterious and unpredictable grief really is. It feels as though life is slipping, like melting sand, through my fingertips. And for me at least, it blows my mind, after all that I’ve been through, everything I’ve survived, and everything that’s happened since that day I lost her, that so much time has been placed between then and now. I wonder how it is even possible and at the same time I wonder how it has only been seven years when in my heart I feel I’ve aged a hundred years.
Not much has changed on the outside, but inwardly, seven plus years into my grief, I want to plead and beg with you — to take heart.
Nothing will ever rectify your pain. At least not this side of heaven. Nothing, nothing, nothing.
I hope that you’ll believe me, that something happens. I don’t know when, and I don’t know how. It’s not magical, and it’s not necessarily pretty.
But you start to grow these invisible muscles around your heart. Your walk becomes a little straighter. Your mind starts to become a little clearer. Your soul longs for hope and you find moments of courage where you occasionally give into that hope. Your belly fills with laughter which at first feels awkward followed by this rush of relief of how good that felt. Your face finds an appropriate excuse to break a small smile, maybe unknowingly and this will catch you off guard in the beginning.
You grow these fantastic wings that no one can see but you can feel it in your bones — that something’s changed.
Little, by little, by little.
I know this isn’t a popular thing to talk about. Especially in the well of grief, and what appears to be the very center of the aftermath.
But I feel like it needs to be said more.
This isn’t me kicking you out of your sadness.
This is me telling you, while today you might feel hopeless and more sadness than you’ve ever felt in your life, to be aware that grief is anything but predictable. And one day, that grief you’ve grown so used to being heavy and dark might one day feel different than just an endless weight of sadness. It might feel like courage, or hope, or like a profound sense of the purest love.
Grief is our expression of love beyond the grave. It is no wonder that it has so much power over us.
Be true to your grief. That is all we can ever do. But I hope that if that space and time should meet you, you might find courage, and hope to embrace the ever-changing nature of grief, in spite of everything.