“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
― Vicki Harrison
There are moments when you need to cry.
“We need to cry like we need to wash a dish or wipe down a dirty wall. Tears serve as the cleaning agent to our soul. When we cry we wipe away the dirt that has tainted our vision. It releases the negative energy that has been bottled up inside. But it also leaves us vulnerable. It allows others to see what we desperately attempt to hide behind our eyes. The demons inside become exposed. “
How do you keep moving on when you lack the energy or drive to do so? When a terrible tragedy comes barging your way, it can make you feel as if you’re not in your body. You are standing out, looking in and what people see before them is a hollow shell that blinks and breathes but has ceased to register. With the pain, comes a sense of emptiness-a numbness.
For a mother, who has just experienced her young son get shot for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, she must keep moving on for him. She is the trunk of the tree-the solid foundation to a family of FIVE. They need her strength to not fall completely apart. She simply does not have the time to stop and register her own feelings. Like a pile of papers, they are thrown to the side for processing later. Everyone else’s needs are paramount. So how does this mother keep moving forward, as she faces the possibility that her young son may never walk again? She moves forward because she MUST. Because, even if living causes her agonizing pain, her son NEEDS her. And she is not the owner of her life, her children are. The moment each one was born, she signed her life away to them. Her happiness, her wants and her needs no longer take top priority.
How about the sister that receives news of her sister’s body in a pool of blood on the street in another country? The uncertainty of it all, the comforting of the mom, the calls that need to be made and confirmation that it is indeed true. Her time to cry, is as she holds her sister’s last photograph in her hand in the quiet darkness of her room. She must stay strong for her mother and her nieces. And, as she travels to a far away land for the burial, she desires to visit the place where her sister stopped living. She wishes to look for those who committed the crime to their face. She does not. SHE CANNOT. Like the mother, she is also obligated to her loved ones. She must portray an image of strength and keep moving on. There’s a bar next to the funeral home and with each drink, more tears descend. It is then, she feels the tremendous pain within her. As she stands by her sister’s casket and looks at a person whose years on the street has changed her physical appearance so much, that for a moment, she wonders if this is really her. She glances at the door every now and then imagining, and hoping her “real” sister come walking in to say she is fine, she is well, she is …ALIVE.
For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.
Strength is a lovely word and a trait we all wish to have, but may not realize we have, until we truly need it. When we have no choice but to LIVE and PUSH-ON day by day, hour by hour, minutes to seconds. When you have to remember to breathe, even if you don’t want to-WE FIGHT. Fight, until we can’t anymore and then continue moving on. Once the task is accomplished, we will undoubtedly look back and marvel at ourselves. For now, we are our own heroes. We accomplished the seemingly impossible and lived to tell about it.
There is an undeniable beauty within the pain. Amidst the chaos, it propels you forward. It reminds you of the non-permanency of everything and in doing so, allows you to appreciate the little things.
Life comes at us from all directions. Issues are like piles of paper. Some you file right away. Some, you place aside and some get placed on top of endless other piles of paper to be filed later. But then, later never comes.
Perhaps the secret to overcoming grief and trying to avoid it- is not waiting for later and appreciating where you are NOW. Let the ones you love, know it. Be proud of yourself and where you are, right now. You have fought many battles but yet, here you are.
Marvel at your strength.
We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later… Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.
You never know what’s coming for you.* Appreciate your life so that when the sad times come-you can at least remember the good times.
*Quote by Eric Roth from the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”