Grief is tricky bastard. It comes in furious waves that threaten to drown you in moments of unimaginable sorrow and pain before it quietly rolls back, giving you a chance to breathe once again. The sharp inhale as you catch your breath serves as a reminder that one day the waves will gently roll by and you will simply move in sync with them, rather than fight to survive their fury. 

It’s almost impossible to believe this when grief is raw and you’re overwhelmed by sudden, unexpected moments of sorrow that threaten to leave you completely defeated by pain. But one day you wake up with the sudden realization that you are no longer counting the days and you are once again among the living, in whatever capacity you can muster on any given day.

Giving ourselves the grace to be exactly where we are in our grief is necessary to survive it. There is no magic timeline with neat little boxes to check off that tell us exactly where we should be, although I’m sure we can all agree that would certainly make the journey easier. Instead, we must allow ourselves to ebb and flow through unpredictable days and moments of emotions that have no regard for our self imposed timelines and expectations, reminding us once again that we are not in control of grief.

I believe life silently prepares us for what we need but we must allow ourselves to listen to what the universe is giving us. We find these unexpected treasures in the form of relationships renewed, the simple gratitude for another day, grace for ourselves, and through self care and love. The struggle between listening and allowing for silent growth, and trying to control every aspect of our lives can make this feel more like a Hallmark card rather than actual life, so we ignore the universe who is patiently knocking on our proverbial door. 

Life can be wildly messy, unapologetically unfair and at times hurt more deeply than we think we can ever bear, but to experience this deep pain means we have in fact experienced love. If loving inevitably brings loss then only way to avoid pain is by denying ourselves the gift of vulnerability and what is life if we never allow ourselves to know the joy in loving? I will gladly risk the pain and sorrow time and time again if it means I get to know love once.

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