Grow + Stretch through Grief

I've been reading through some of my old writing, trying to get a sense of this beast I call grief and sort through the collage-board of feelings in my mind. Somewhere along this journey of life I’ve begun to heal through words, and to my surprise, it’s my own that are doing the best mending. I've started to write for myself, for others, for anyone trying to wrangle this wild horse of darkness after loss. I hope I can make my thoughts into something salvageable, something coherent that could one day help people, but for now it's a sorting of my thoughts and that feels good.

I came across these words today - I wrote them one month after my Dad died, over two years ago. The meaning came plummeting back at me and solidified some questions I've been having about who I am after so much change.

"One month ago today I lost my dad, he closed his eyes forever and went to be with my son, and the reality of that sentence crushes me. Once again I see a road of grief ahead of me and it exhausts me to think of the tears I know are coming... but the difference now is that I know I will change and shift and be carved into someone who can carry the heartbreak, carry the load I have been given. My resilience will grow, because the alternative is to be swallowed whole by the sadness. I don't believe that ridiculous phrase "you are only given what you can handle". No. You grow + stretch + patch your heart with years of grief and when life breaks you again and again, you hope that your muscle of resilience has been worked enough to make up the difference. Missing my son will never get any easier, but I may soon find a way to release his memory with a smile, instead of tears."

Who is this woman? I don't feel like her. She seems wise + worn and sure of her path. And yet I know when I wrote that, I was more broken than I had been in years. Isn't it funny how I've found clarity in the darkest days of my life? So much sadness in such a short amount of time. A wiser person than me would say it takes a broken soul to see the most beauty in the world, a heart so sharp at the edges with sadness that it can bend and melt to help others. It doesn’t seem fair that real growth is seeded in the depths of despair, but for me, that is the way. I’m learning, my goodness I've learned so much about myself, about empathy, about coping in the past 5 years. I’ve learned that I deep inside I want to accept life’s happenings and move on, but the reality of that is sheer ridiculousness right now. No, I haven't been able to release Lochlan with a smile yet, but I think it's coming soon.