Healing in Grief

Grief 2Grief comes in all forms. Having someone pass on to the other side is never easy, but death is inevitable. Nobody ever knows the hour or the day of the cycle of life. Dying is something many people avoid talking about, but death is the realest way that life can slap you in the face. It wakes you up. It makes you stop and think. It implements reflection, and perspective. It even makes you feel like you want to press the “pause” button while everyone around you continues to move along like normal. It makes you wish you could press “rewind” to do all the things you wish you would’ve done, or could’ve done, or should’ve said. It makes you want to press “fast-forward” to get through the grief and on to the healing part. Some people reach for the “Undo” button, but cannot seem to find it. Some eventually  learn how move on, accept, or cope through daily life, and some never figure it out.

I once heard a young girl say at her brother’s funeral: “We didn’t lose him. When you lose something, it means you don’t know where it is. It means you cannot find it. We know where he is.”

WOW! She was right, and those words still resonate with me. Those words were powerful, and they placed something in my heart into perspective that day. I have experienced grief from people in my life passing on. As early as 2nd grade, my friend died. I remember a friend calling our house very early in the morning to share the horrible news. I was little, but I knew that my heart hurt. I attended her funeral, and I remember seeing our teacher crying over her casket. I remember the grief and devastation in the face of her mother. I held my mom’s hand tightly at her services, and I remember feeling afraid to say my final goodbye’s.

My aunt died suddenly in June 2009. She was someone special. I would call her during the day to chat with her. I have fond memories with her. I knew I could count on her for advice and support. There were many others before, in between, and after her. Each one of them tugs at my heart in a different way. I have had my moments of breakdown … most of the time when I least expect it. Sometimes it feels like they are on a very long vacation, but then i remember that I cannot pick up the phone and hear their voice, or wrap my arms around them. It can stop me in my tracks, but I know the show must go on. Life does not stop for anyone or anything. When I finally stop and catch my breath, I realize that it is these people who fuel my passions to be better. They fuel my desire to live my life fuller and with more love in my heart. They help fuel my appreciation for life even in the midst of my sorrow. Even though they are no longer in my physical presence, they give me life through their memory that lives inside of me.

Everyone deals with grief in their own way. One thing is certain about the passing of those I have loved.. Death has changed me. It has helped fuel my passions. It has helped me slow down and appreciate people more. It has helped me realize that there is zero guarantee in life, and now I see that the power of vulnerability is real.

Saying goodbye is never easy. While we say goodbye, we remember the mark or impression those special people left with us. We allow those marks to live inside of us to share with others and the world. There is healing in grief. Having experienced grief means that we have lived. It means we have survived. It means we get to live to see another day and continue to give a part of ourselves and those who left their mark on our hearts to others.

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Featured photo credit: Foter