Grief changes us. It’s an inevitable side effect of the loss. Debating the injustice doesn’t make it less true (I’ve tried). Kicking and screaming doesn’t help (done that too). Hiding under the blankets from the pain and the midday sun doesn’t shield us from it either.
After the loss of my daughter I became painfully aware that the landscape of my identity had moved and shifted in ways I couldn’t control. All certainty and security had been washed out by a tsunmai of grief, heartbreak and confusion. And to the outside world, I was now that girl whose baby died. It seemed my former self was gone.
As I witness the transformation of the Canadian winter melting into spring, the return of the song birds, the new green buds of life coming up through the earth, just as they do every year, I find myself thinking about the concepts of renewal, rebirth and re-creation.
When we lose our little loved ones, we are hit by a blunt reality that our life as we knew it, as we were expecting it to be has now suddenly crashed down around us. And when that happens we have no choice but to start asking ourselves some big questions about ourselves and our place in the world. Connie Chang puts it this way: Thinking about death clarifies our life.
I would suggest however the the first, most important question is this: When we lose what is most precious and sacred to us in the world, how do we re-create a life worth living? A life worth getting out of bed for?
This can feel huge, but we can start breaking it down into really small pieces. First, I reminded myself that my little one would want me to be happy and to feel joy again. And I made that goal my compass: Joy no matter what. I knew this was the only way I could start to turn my focus away from the darkness and back towards the light so that I could notice and receive the good things that life still offered to me. But I knew that this required my participation, my openness and my willingness. So the mantra of “Joy no matter what” became my lifeline for a little while as I worked to return to life and to begin to feel Alive again.
Crumbling and suffering under the weight of your grief is not how you are meant to spend the rest of your days. You deserve to have a life worth living again. In fact, this is the road out of the darkness. Check out my video below for more tips and ideas.
Love & Light,