You know what I hate most about grief – The tight and sharp grip it has as you feel it rushing in to crush your vulnerable heart. I also hate the heavy and empty ache it leaves in its wake. If you have felt this life altering blow, or you are currently feeling it, I AM SO SORRY. It really does hurt to be a human. It hurts to love. It also hurts to be alive to our own heart’s cries and to acknowledge its losses. I wish there was an easy fix. A magic wand we could wave, or at least a numbing stick to eradicate the pain until we have the strength to breathe into the pain once again.
You know what I love most about grief – How everything slows down. When we do not have the energy to care about frivolous things, a type of forced simplicity also rushes in. We seldom slow down enough to take a deep breath, letting it fully expand and deplete our body, as well as we do when we think surely we will never be able to breathe again because the ache is just so much. Thank you grief for helping me breathe. I have never slowed down enough to stop somewhere and buy myself flowers, simply because I so desperately needed to see SOMETHING beautiful. Thank you grief for guiding me to stop and smell the roses…literally. The warm sunshine hitting my face through the window has never felt so comforting, because I typically do not need warmth on my body to remind me I am still alive. Thank you grief, for teaching me how the very creation around me is sweeping in to embrace me in my need.
The hard part about grief is holding both of the experiences from the two previous paragraphs without putting a big BUT, in between them. Any calm, peace, beauty, or joy that I feel will never be enough to cover up my storm or make it go away. But in the same way, no matter how devastating my storm, it will never be big enough to cover up my calm, peace, beauty, and joy. And in processing my grief, it looks a lot like holding the tension of these two seemingly opposite experiences until they slowly blend into one. One beautiful, messy, strengthened part of who I am and who I am becoming.