I am thankful for grief.
Grief and I have become intimately acquainted over the past few years. I remember reading once that grief comes in waves and it was the most accurate description I have found.
Some days she washes over me like a crashing tidal wave – her grip and tide so powerful that I grasp for air as I try to escape her pull. Some days she has an almost calming lull that rocks me peacefully in her steady tow. Some days her waters are completely still, and I almost forget that she is even here. But she always is.
Grief is just a part of me now. Almost a quiet passenger.
She gets louder around the holidays and the waters start to ripple – her waves reminding me of precious memories and happy moments with those I can no longer touch and see. Memories that will never be replaced with new ones.
Around this time, I start to feel current creep up to take my breath away. Rather than resist her, I let her take me away.
I choose to approach grief with gratitude rather than resistance. I welcome the waves in whatever form they come – with crashing urgency or a calm clip. I welcome them because with each wave is the reminder of my capacity for love.
My grief is so strong because my love was its equal match. The pain now is a reminder of the pleasure from the past. I recognize this and am thankful for it.
By accepting grief, I am not flailing in her waves and grasping for air. I am rising with the current instead of thrashing against it. I feel empowered, in control, and so thankful for the love I once had. For the love I still have.
If you are struggling with grief or loss, know you are not alone. Know it is okay and it will get better. If you are not yet there, just be kind to you. Find yourself a live vest in a friend, a coach or some other ally that can keep your head above water over the holiday season. It might not seem like it now, but the tide will turn.