Grief.. what a subject, what an emotion, what a challenge.
It can be totally all encompassing and engulf every fibre of our being. It can just be a heavy presence coming and going as it pleases, or it can make us feel like we are in a sea with tidal waves buffeting us sideways to make us feel we are drowning.
I have had different forms of grief in my life… from losing loved ones, losing my beloved four legged friend, the dream of not being able to be a Mum becoming an unbearable reality and the death of my marriage. All extremely painful and all very different.
I have walked through dark valleys. Valleys that I have been more accustomed to being beautifully sunny arenas filled with love, life and laughter that have suddenly morphed into a torrent of storms. Valleys that have seemed never ending and that have seen me searching for the way out. I have stayed in those valleys for long periods of time… in one case ten long years.
But the valleys have given me something. They have grown me as a person. Made me stronger and given me something within my very core that I can share with others. They have given me compassion and empathy for those who are suffering in similar situations. They have shown me how strong I can be. They have proved to me that I am a fighter and that I can overcome adversity. They have been dark, cold spaces where I have been through many dark nights of the soul. But in those spaces I have found freedom. A freedom to ‘be’. A freedom to take on board what has happened and to learn how to walk through it. Sometimes I have had to put on strong walking boots to enable me to cover the terrain within the valley but sure enough there have been times when boots were no longer needed and I have changed my footwear.
I have been on some challenging journeys but the one lesson I’ve really learned navigating such valleys is that I have loved and been loved. I have found that although the hardest time of my life and the biggest loss I have had to bear has also been the greatest joy of my life and given me more young people in my life than I probably would have had if I’d had children. I have been given so much through losing so much. In short, grief has made me a better person.
To risk loving also risks grieving but it is through depths of such grief I have found a whole new me.