The Blessing of Grief
Jan 28, 2010
This post is for people—like me—who worry .
Who may not be currently experiencing grief, but can feel the ever-possibility of it around the corner.
Who forget today’s peace because they are concerned with tomorrow’s impending tragedy.
A death? A divorce? A diagnosis?
That is me.
(And I can’t be alone.)
This post is for us.
Two weeks ago I was driving alone to a meeting downtown. I have a decent fear of driving and always assume I will meet my death behind the wheel. I was in this dismal train-of-thought when I was awakened by a memory.
It was shortly after my first marriage had ended—nine months after it had started—I had returned to my old camping grounds in my parent’s spare bedroom. I sat on the floor crossed legged with my head bumping up against the bed.
Here was my life:
Living with parents
About to graduate from college
I felt too young to be feeling so old.
I grieved for my “could’ves”—could’ve done, could’ve said, could’ve married instead.
But some time during that session of wondering about lost possibilities, I could feel a slight breeze of hope. In allowing the sensation to grab a hold of my spirit, I began to feel more of it until I was overcome. There, in that empty room, I started to see a vision of what my future would hold. Options and opportunities—far different than a life I had assumed—but just as brilliant.
Then, back in my car driving to my meeting I began to see the blessing of grief. Grief allows us an opportunity to change our expectations into new dimensions. It takes our hand (mostly, our heart) and shows us better alternatives to a life now-changed. Grief, as it turns out, is a method of emotional transportation.
My divorce was really quite simple to navigate compared to what life had in store for me after. I married again and spent five years trying to conceive. I felt like a wasteland from head-to-toe—something I was reminded of monthly. But it was always grief that did the psychological dirty work of washing away one hope and replacing it with a shiny new one.
A fall baby instead of a spring baby?
Then when my little sister was barely rescued from a fiery plane crash, having sustained burns all over her body, I had to rely on grief to help me see that should she live or die, life would still retain elements of beauty and happiness. And in her emerging out of it all, all of the pain and soul-searching, there remains something sweet and reassuring.
Though I am not always cognizant of it, I know grief sheds a layer of pride around our souls and helps us to feel something infinitely better—more comfortable, more like home. It is a natural way for us to gain homeostasis, and it is something we are born with as humans. If we allow grief to run its difficult cycle we will emerge as stronger, compassionate and finer beings.
So why worry?
*You can read CJane's critically acclaimed blog HERE. A million thanks to Courtney for taking the time to share her thoughts on this subject. She is a miracle worker of words and I believe she hit the nail on the head. Sometimes being broken is a gift. Thank you, again, for sharing these sentiments and experieneces.