Until two years ago I had never been touched by powerful grief, I had experienced loss, but never had I been profoundly devastated by emotions when facing the death of a beloved. Until that day death had always just been a normal transition for me, I knew that it wasn’t the end so I was able to accept the death quickly and with little emotional attachment.
That night however as I heard the news of my beloved friend’s passing my knees buckled, my breath stopped and my heart ripped in two. The pain in my chest was so intense that I thought my heart was going to give out and as I fell asleep I prayed not to die as well; to stay with my children.
The death had been sudden and I had beed attached to a future that was no longer an option. My whole world came crashing to a stop.
The only moment that we have is the one we are living, the present, yet I was living in the possibility of a future, that in an instant, dissolved into the ether.
Grief hit me like 18000 tons of a loaded freight train. When you think of it like that, there is no wonder why the grief rips apart your body, why you can not sleep or eat. No wonder why your body aches and waves of emotions bubble up from the cracks from deep within your soul.
If we had truly been hit by a train and survived we would be a miracle, our strength would be celebrated and we would feel lucky to be alive. Yet when we survive grief there is no acknowledgement, there is no miracle and we, day by day forget how lucky we are to be alive. Life starts to slowly takeover our attention again, the wounds heal and slowly we feel less and less pain.
If you have survived grief you are a super hero, and we have all experienced some form of grief. Whether it was the death of a loved one, the loss of a pet, a relationship, or a career; we have all felt the beating of the train.
Navigating my grief became an every day effort, working through the emotions of guilt, anger, forgiveness, shame, resentment and love. Yes, there is love within grief. Letting these emotions come up and through me without stopping them, without pushing them back down. Acknowledging their presence and letting them go.
Celebrating the love was the key to moving through the other, heavier, emotions. Without love there is no forgiveness and with love there is no shame. Learning to love myself deeper and to honour that love, I was able to create space around the grief. Like the air that holds tight to a surface as it is submerged in water, this space created room for healing.
Over time my wounds became less and less sore, tears were replaced with smiles and gratitude filled the space of loss. Gratitude for the time together, for the lessons learned and for the love shared. Gratitude for the life I now build with more understanding of who I am and who I want to be.
Now, I am grateful for the grief, for the train, as I see the strength that it took for me to heal. I know that I am a miracle, that we are all miracles because we have survived. When you feel grief, let it come, you are stronger than you now; you are a miracle ready to be born.