I feel as though I am on the other side of grief.......…..

Musings of memories

I have been thinking about this project for quite a few years: is there a way to share my story that may lift the reader out of their sadness for a time?

And if that could actually be the result, wouldn’t I endeavor to try my hand at this “story-telling”?

Because ultimately it appears that every one of us has a story to share – and it is through the telling, the honesty, the genuine caring and baring of one’s soul, that the reader may be uplifted.

I feel as though I am on the “other side” of grief. If you had told me this could happen while I was in those first days, weeks, months, years after experiencing the profound loss of a loved one, I would not have believed you. The telltale sign for me was being able to feel joy; and to feel grateful for all that surrounds me even in the face of that loss.

The term “bereft” feels like an apt description for my experience – and while I have come to learn that we all experience grief differently, there are also many shared universal emotions. Reading about other’s experiences helped me tremendously. Particularly the notion, which for me has turned to “knowing”, that our soul continues on after our physical death….that it is actually healthy to continue a relationship with a loved one after he/she departs. It is a very personal, private endeavor and there are many ways to incorporate this into your life. For me this has been astoundingly beneficial.

But let’s go back to the beginning. Immediately after my husband’s passing I felt frozen in time and space. Literally numb, floating, as though the wind had been knocked out of me. Quite honestly I had no idea what active grieving even looked like. At least not this time around. I understand much more clearly how unique each loss is depending on the relationship and where you are in your own life at that time. What I came to learn over time was just how much I would grow through this transitional period in my life. The depth of my sadness was equal to or greater than the love I was so fortunate to have experienced over so many years. I came to this with the assistance of so many people I met during this time: I quickly realized they each had something to offer that would help to fill that hole in my heart. At that point I didn’t have to know how…….

As I look back now I feel I had unknowingly embraced the grieving experience. I kind of dove into it. Or it encircled me. What seemed like an endless stream of feelings outside of my normal existence, was really me coming to terms ever so slowly with the change – I remember saying for years, “I can’t explain it but everything feels different now” – thankfully that “different” feeling became so familiar to me that it gradually felt comfortable. I think I have the ability 9 years later to recognize the metamorphosis that took place – inside – and somehow I grew into myself. I thought it may be helpful to someone else, in the early stages of grief, to know that there is hope and endless possibility to come out the other side with a renewed sense of self. I arrived here after being supported by so many people, places, practices, workshops, experiences: at first just to ease the pain and sadness a little, then because I discovered it was actively contributing to my healing. I will be forever grateful. I told my good friend John that I so wanted to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. That became my mantra of sorts. Initially I had no idea how to accomplish this. Only that I had an extremely strong desire to come to terms with what I instinctively knew to be a life changing event on a deep level. And so my journey began…..

Every single step I took contributed to my discovery - and it surely hasn’t ended yet - but I come from a sense of “knowing” now. And that colors my world most days. Don’t get me wrong…the tears still come, life can be quite bittersweet. Memories are both welcome yet sometimes sad to recollect. But it’s all part of the dance. The learning, growing, expanding will hopefully continue. In addition to the Spiritual Care Package that grew from this very personal experience, I look forward to sharing a variety of tools and techniques that were and still are instrumental to my ability to continue to move from grief to grace.

I hope you will stay tuned for more "musings of my memories".....