The hardest thing for me to accept about grief has been, that it never goes a way. I’m one to want to find an end in sight. It doesn’t matter how much I move forward in life, how positive I am, how strong my faith is, what I’ve been through and how it has made me stronger...the imprints left on my heart will always remain. Without even trying, a thought will pass by, a feeling will embody me, triggers will pop up...reminders are there. This is the way it should be. Grief reminds me I am human. It reminds me that I am alive enough to feel and to be aware of what once was and what now is.
Before the New Year two random strangers at different times gave me two white roses. I had just finished having breakfast with a friend. After we said our goodbyes I had this urge to take about 30 min for myself and walk around outside. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature was about 65 degrees out and all I could think about is what was ahead for me....all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, traveling and ringing in the New Year. So it was either taking this moment now or this time I had all to myself was going to quickly fade. My friends, let me tell ya, I had every excuse to not take 30 min for myself. Trust me the list of things to do where screaming at me, but I chose to take the opportunity and take the dang 30 min walk.
It was quiet. I thought of playing music on my phone but I didn’t. I let whatever it was speak to me. As I made my way to my car all I could think of was how good it felt. I have learned that it takes a lot to slow down, stop and listen to what your inner voice is telling you to do. You may not know why in that moment but I’ve learned every time I stop and take whatever time I do have I never regret it. It’s taken me a while though. To do this guilt free, shame free, and unapologetically has been a work in progress. I have to tell my mind to shut up. I have to quiet those voices that try SO hard to keep me stannic and cripple me with this idea that my life doesn’t matter. The voices that try to remind me people that “take time” are privileged with time, money and resources. The fact is if I wait for “more” to come into my life, if I wait for this idea that it takes money or focus on the things I don’t have, nothing will ever be good enough. What is good enough is what I have and where I am at in my life right now. This is what grieving has taught. No matter what has happened in my life Grief has been a teacher of mine to stop and breath.
I get it. It’s painful to remember. It’s easy to work, to stay busy, to be interrupted with thoughts and go in a completely different direction. But going in that direction never serves me the way these moments do.
It’s a mental muscle that you have to build and exercise. You have to get used to a new pattern and develop some new habits if you desire change. That is why I do it over and over again. I consciously and intentionally practice this so I can keep moving forward.
So here I am walking back to my car and out of nowhere a group of ladies are handing out roses. Our paths directly passed one another and one lady said “here is a rose for you, Merry Christmas.” I walked a few steps more and this older gentlemen said “here you look like you you should have another rose so here’s mine.”
I have thought about this day so many times. How much it has meant to me. How such a small jester of kindness went a really long way. It represented so much in my life. How much I have learned and bloomed to be where I am today. The the stages a rose goes through to bloom represents so much within the stages in which we go through with grief. A seed is planted in soil, that seed takes root, that root begins to extend and develop, a root system at one end while a stem forms at the other end. Soon the stem begins to move upward. Leaves begin to develop and soon enough buds begin to appear. The buds begin to grow. This takes time. Soon enough the bud opens and shows it’s beauty.
These past few years I have taken time to heal. To work through so many stages of grief. To be able to sit in my pain. To allow new roots to take place, while my roots were growing deep a new life was happening in me. The learning and discovery of this process seemed to be okay. Things began to have meaning again. It took a while though to see life and beauty. I knew I wanted to see life and beauty again and that is what kept me going. Developing day by day. As my buds would appear with desires and visions I knew little by little I would open up to new possibilities. Knowing this is going to be my year to bloom. The things that have taken root weren’t going anywhere any time soon. I was going to release what has been birthed in my heart. Working more and more on sharing all that my pain has taught me.
This is my year. So today as I sit here and write this I am reminded once again of this day. The day I took 30 min for myself and walked around on that bright and sunny day. Being handed two roses from complete strangers representing so much more that an act of kindness. But seeing the growth that has brought me here. Today is my Annabelle and Ethan’s Celebration Day. The day that changed my life forever, interesting enough i wasn’t given just one rose but two. I want to say even though losing two babies is never what I expected I can say today I am so thankful and feel so blessed to have walked through what my family and I did with Annabelle and Ethan. These two events in our lives is the thing that has made my family and I stronger today and to be able to feel like never before. The best thing of all is their spirits have never left our hearts. What a crazy thing life is huh? All the hills and valleys, heights and depths, sudden turns, sudden stops and moments of falling on our knees to only surrender and have God take over.
We all have these moments don't we. They are given to us to humble our hearts, to live in gratitude, to see more clear and love a little bit bigger.
So, may this encourage you. Whatever it is that you are walking through. You my friend will see life again. You will see beauty. You will find meaning in your pain. There is life on the other side of grief and even though grief never goes away remember it is there to remind you, you are human and that is a good thing.
Learning to say Thank You to your pain takes time. Healing takes time, a lifetime in fact. So give yourself the time you need.