I woke up this morning knowing I had a blog post to write but sorting it all out just seemed so daunting. I find lately I just don’t want to deal with grief. I have virtually put grief in a closet and locked the door. Grief has changed for me. It has become this dark shadow that looms over me during certain periods of the year.
While I understand that shutting grief out is not the answer – I’m not sure what else I can say or do about my grief. It is what it is. I can’t change what happened. The outcome was not in my control. All I can do is live or die. I chose to live. The conflict is profound.
In Susan Duke’s book “Grieving Forward” which I highly recommend, she speaks about embracing life, while not easy because our hearts are full of grief and regret. Realizing that we cannot change and acceptance is key to move forward. Acceptance I think is one of the last phases that we go through on our grief journey.
While I miss my daughter far beyond any words can define, I cannot stay there. I wrestled with the concept that if I moved on, it meant I would forget about her. That is further from the truth. I remember her often, but the grief, the grief has become too much of a burden for me. I can’t do it anymore.
I prayed for so long to find purpose in all the grief and loss I’d had over my entire life. My daughter’s death is just one of many losses, the most profound, but not the only one. I’ve learned to live with grief for a very long time. It has become part of my story and a part of my soul. I have vacillated between the swell of pain in my heart and the sweet memories of my daughter, my mom and grandmothers. I wasn’t sure I’d make it out of the darkness of pain and grief.
Let me be very clear here. I’d never, ever, chose to have never experienced the greatest gift of motherhood which gives such unconditional love. I understood the unconditional love I had for my mom and that she had for me. It was a lesson I had to learn. The joys and sorrows of parenthood were the character building blocks of my adulthood. They have molded me into the person I am today. I am thankful for all of that love and the memories.
Life has moved forward for me because I chose to allow love back into my life. That was the healing I needed to see beyond my own pain. Moving on does not equate to forgetting the past. It just puts it into a place where I manage my grief, good or bad, it’s manageable. Joy has returned. But the pain is still very present. I would not have traded that time in my life, being the mother of my sweet Brittany. It’s been the most honorable thing I’ve ever done.
The verse in Susan’s book (below) really completes this for me.
Until next time,
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. – Psalm 30:11-12