There are times when you may feel like you finally have a handle on your grief. For once, you may actually feel like you are truly doing well. Then out of nowhere… a setback happens. There are so many triggers in grief and at times, they can be unpredictable. It could be lyrics to a song, the well-intentioned words of another, an anniversary, and sometimes it can be something so incredibly simple that not even you could see it coming. Setbacks and emotional triggers come in many forms and when they show up out of nowhere, they have to power to take your breath away.
It may feel like you have made great strides on this road you are on and then you are sent spiraling backwards into the very moment that changed your life forever. It doesn’t matter how far out you are in your grief, those triggers have the power to drown out the strides you may have made. Then you’re left with the rubble and you have to try to figure out how to rebuild to where you were moments early. Two steps forward and a dozen steps back. That is grief. It’s unpredictable at times, it’s messy, and it is downright complicated. When it hits, it hits hard. It never holds back. No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape the tight grasp that it has on your life.
You cannot escape it, but you can learn to live with it.
I truly believe that we can learn to live with our grief. We can learn to sit with it, we can learn to make room for it in our lives. What other choice do we really have?
Grief changes who we are. It gives us a completely different perspective on life, love, and suffering. The majority of people simply cannot understand our new view. From where we stand, things look so incredibly different than they did before. Relationships we have with others will change and new ones will form from our tragedy. So many things in life seem different. Part of living with our grief is accepting that we will never go back to the person we were “before” our loss and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean we are stuck in our grief or we will be perpetually sad for the rest of our lives. It means that we have experienced something so significant, so life altering and we are surviving through it. One day, one moment, one breath at a time.
Slowly, I am learning to let go of the person I once was and accept that I’ll never see her again. I might catch her in glimpses here and there, but mostly she is gone. I am letting her go… my blood may run through me the same as it did before, but so much else about me has changed. I’m okay with that. There is so much more depth to my soul, my life, my sadness, and to my joy. I am learning to let go and embrace the change… because I wouldn’t be who I am right now if it weren’t for my son. There is something so sacred about that.