This morning as I watched the sun rise coloring the sky with yellows and pinks and oranges, I sat for a moment and reveled in its beauty and said a little prayer of gratitude. It’s October, in case you didn’t notice the calendar lately and looming on the horizon is a difficult date, October 25th—the day Chris passed away.
As the sun crested over the hill illuminating my house with its bright rays I pondered many things but especially how grief changes with the passage of time—not just for me but for all of us. They say time heals all wound. I call bullcrap on that one. Major bull. It’s not time that heals our wounds but rather experience and how we work through our hardships of loss and where we turn to for our comfort.
I’ve witnessed in my life and in the lives of Chris’s friends and family, a change in our process. Grief is an ever-changing face. Grief can be wicked and show up to remind us out of nowhere the depth of the pain and trauma we felt that day and in the days after. The pain in readjusting our lives and making new ways for ourselves. The ache of heartbreak some of it shared with others and some of it silently endured.
Grief has a way of giving rise to fears—some obvious while others remain buried until someone or something dusts off the dirt. It might be a similar situation—another accident and unexpected tragedy. Or it could be just the opposite—a new opportunity something signaling a change of new beginnings. It doesn’t matter what it is but I’ve come to recognize for the rest of my life there will be moments where grief will try to stifle me–keep me from the good places I’m heading.
Those of you who know me personally, know I’ve come a long way from the place I was after losing Chris. Many of you have told me so and I appreciate that greatly. Sometimes I feel like I dwell on it a lot—not the bad place but the change I’ve underwent. Maybe that stems from a happy disbelief in the way my heart changed or maybe it’s because I want to continually remind those carrying around that darkness it can get better. Miracles happen every day. I’ve witnessed them in my life and the lives of others.
I hold onto the memory of those horrific days and reflect on them because they make each new day a greater blessing than the one before. I remember the days of wearing the fake smile and trying so hard to hold myself together. I remember avoiding going to bed because that was my nightly reminder that Chris was gone. I remember those nights where all I could do was sob—so much despair I couldn’t even form words. I clung to one tiny truth—everything happens for a reason and while no reason would ever suffice for the loss of Chris I knew there was a reason I was still here. God had to have a purpose for me. A purpose for this. That little truth was my tiny bit of faith and that faith has grown and continues to do so every day.
I had big plans for 2015—the start of my new life, my new beginning. I had books I was going to finish and fitness goals and traveling and all sorts of other things. But sometimes our plans get changed—you would think I would’ve known that by now all things considered. I haven’t accomplished all I wanted to do this year and while the year isn’t over it’s quickly closing in and that’s okay. While I did travel and make leaps and bounds with my fitness and health, my writing goals have suffered. Overachiever Michelle is slightly irritated by this but I’m trying to settle her down a bit. LOL! (However I’m so grateful she’s back and nagging at me daily.) Life has given me some unexpected miracles but the greatest has been my spiritual growth and personal development. 2015 has been a great learning experience and learning to deal with yourself and your feelings—that’s tough stuff. I’m so grateful to God and my angels on earth and above for all of your love and support.
Are there days I cry? Yes.
Are there days I feel blah and down in the dumps? Absolutely.
But I don’t live in the darkness anymore. I refuse. This comes from the experience—the experience of handling grief. A really smart friend of mine recently said, “Heartbreak leaves a scar that never really goes away.” Wise and VERY true words. It doesn’t matter if that broken heart was from a death or the end of a relationship. The scar will always remain and from time to time it will hurt but it’s how we deal with that hurt that defines us not the scar itself.
Grief—once it touches us it never really goes away but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. We put it in our suitcase filled with all of our other experiences. It is a part of us but it never defines us. Keep fighting—don’t let despair defeat you. And don’t be discouraged when the painful memories make an appearance—cry, get angry, scream, talk to someone, write, pray—do something (in a healthy way) to get the emotions out, experience them, deal with them, and lay them to rest. Facing those feelings and moving through them is how we carry on. Once you’ve taught yourself how to handle grief it will no longer handle you.
Last October dread and anxiety ruled my life. This October gratitude and strength rule my life. I’ll never forget the pain of that day—the details and emotions of it are seared in my memory. I’ll never forget Chris—he taught me so much in life and in death. I’m at peace because I truly believe he’s at peace. Now, it’s time for me to figure out my purpose in life and God willing by the end of mine I’ll have it fulfilled!
#GriefConfessions #KeepFighting #ChangingFaceOfGrief #LoveHugsSunshine