For me, Ďgriefí isnít the right word. It doesnít encapsulate the intense sorrow you feel in every inch of your being. It fails to show the fact that it is an everlasting emotion; one that lingers, one that hurts just as much as the day it was so coldly forced on you.
Five letters canít possibly describe the strength you somehow find every day to carry on with your life, as if there isnít a giant piece missing. Have you ever seen a puzzle with one absent piece? Suddenly that hole becomes the focus and you lose sight of the beautiful picture. You never really appreciate it the same way again because itís not the same, itís broken; unfinished, and for you it always will be.
ĎGreifí doesnít accurately depict the happy days you have that are abruptly halted for an uninvited, unexpected ten minutes of crying. The times you run the shower only to mask the sounds of your whimper and the tears running down your face. The guilt you bear for things you canít change - words you canít take back; the memories you gave up making. The relentless wondering whether you are doing them proud.
It completely leaves out the part where you have to see the hurt on those grieving with you; the pain they feel as they try and navigate through this unknown, unwelcome process. The helplessness you feel because you canít take that pain away from the people you love, despite how much you want to.
It doesnít warn of the mood swings. The constant feeling of being short-changed. That your heart will break at some point every single day, even though it was already completely broken during a time you wish to forget. Those five letters canít possibly describe how everything you planned in your head, everything you dreamed of when you were young is gone. Those major life eventsí you always imagined are forever different now. Birthdays, Christmas, engagements, weddings, children - everything. It doesnít depict how isolated you will feel at times, because you canít explain the mixture of heartbreak, happy memories and longing for one more hug, to anyone else.
Most of all it doesnít capture the feeling of being left behind. It fails to prepare you for everyone continuing on with their lives, while you feel stagnant and confused. Even when you do lift your feet and move forward, it moves with you. Three years is a lifetime for some. What happened 1,141 days ago is a memory for people, not a pleasant one but a memory none the less. But how can it ever be a memory for you if it will always be current?
How do you move on when it moves with you?
All you can do is simply accept you have a new life; one that will always be shadowed by a sorrow you cannot explain nor understand. Life in the shade is not all bad though. Itís only in the darkness that you can see the stars, and from that you learn to appreciate them and the light.
No words can describe the transition into adjusting to this new life. Just like no words can describe the things you no longer take for granted.
ĎGriefí doesnít encapsulate the strength you never knew you had. The new found ability to love, forgive and forget. It doesnít capture the power you feel knowing youíve been through the worst and are still here; smiling, laughing, and able to enjoy life.
ĎGriefí leaves out the pride you feel knowing you are capable enough to be your own support in times you feel isolated, your resilient enough to keep going - striving for success. It leaves out the overwhelming purpose you now have in your life to live for those who are no longer able; to experience as much as you can, while you can. You are humbled, grateful, and forever will be.
ĎGriefí doesnít describe the new found ability to see those you miss, in everything; the flowers, the birds, statues, new family members. It completely disregards the special talent of feeling them everywhere around you, surrounding yourself with them even if you canít see their face.
Who would have thought from the word Ďgriefí that your mind would be opened to more spiritual encounters. That you would grow the ability to accept messages from those you long for, through things that meant nothing before. Who would have thought that the love for your family could possibly be more than it already was; that the love for your friends and people in your life would grow even stronger. Who would have thought that it would strengthen your relationship. That you would learn your worth just by having someone there, supporting you, loving you, helping you through your darkest times and ugliest moods. Never giving up on you. That despite the tears and constant falling down, the fact they continue to pick you up and make you laugh when you forget how lets you realise things are never as bad as they seem.
I wouldnít have thought any of this from five little letters.
Losing my Mum was hard, it still is. Iíve learnt it will always be, but Iíve gained perspective in life and for that I can only be thankful. I am the person I am today because of the woman who sheltered me for nine months before I entered this sometimes cruel world.
I will never understand why I now have to celebrate for her instead of with her. I will never comprehend why someone so beautiful and kind hearted was taken while there is so much evil walking in the world, but Iíve accepted that.
I can only be thankful that it has happened to me, someone who is strong enough to deal with it instead of one it would break. I can only be thankful for the time I had with her knowing others do not get the same opportunity. I can only be thankful for the lessons she taught me and tools she gave me to continue my life without her in it. I can only be thankful that God and this world gave me the best Mumbo a daughter could ask for.
Grief isnít the right word. No word is. Itís simply unexplainable.
Do not judge someone's process. Above all, be kind to yourself during it.