When we are grieving it can be so very hard sometimes to see anything but the pain we feel in our hearts. It can literally take us over and impact every little thing in our life. Our ache for our loved ones can be totally overwhelming not only for us but for everyone around us as well.
Sometimes in the overwhelm though there will come a pause. There will be a time when finally we can take a breath, we can sigh out our sorrow and begin to experience a flicker of light through the fog. At other moments we are totally at the mercy of our feelings and sit in a pain that is beyond help. It is beyond anything but the very intense missing that invades our hearts.
Grieving and learning how to live life after our very great loss is a monumental and an ongoing experience. For myself now coming up to my 6th year since my son’s death, I miss him every single moment of the day but alongside that I’ve found a peace in my heart and an acceptance of where he is and where I am. We are separate in some ways but can never be separate in others, in our hearts. The love I have for him will bind us always, as will the ways he is with me in everything I do.
Each day he is part of my life in some way and when I think of him I smile because I feel that love. I still have bad days. I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed, but they have become very few. I cry but I cry differently now. No longer are the great hurting endless tears that tore me apart. Now my tears are soft tears that come gently for all sorts of reasons because my heart has an open frailty. I’ve been touched by life and touched by love.
I got to that place in many ways but one of the ways was by learning to adjust my sails. Grief can feel very much like the worst storm ever.
In the early days of grieving it’s as if we are in the very eye of this enormous storm. We are at its mercy. The swell pounds down on us nearly drowning us in the power of the waves. There is nothing we can do but cling on, battered, bruised and totally spent.
At other times we find ourselves becalmed, but the day is anything but calm. There is a fog that has cloaked us in darkness and a chill that freezes our very bones. We feel the very great ache and turmoil of ourselves.
As the days pass and the seasons change, the sun starts to crack through the clouds and brings a little warmth to ease the ache within us. The breeze is gentle and we raise the sails knowing that the tide is finally turning.
There will always be those days when we have to batten down the hatches as another storm approaches. But as they do and as we navigate through our grief, we are learning to read it, to know of it and to know of ourselves.
Today I want you to never give up your hope – for that sun and for the gentle breeze to come.
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