Saturday, September 12, 2020

Grief can be a gift

I know - I hear you. You are screaming at me that I am crazy. Grief is NOT a gift. It's a hard cruel trick life has played on us. The life we expected is gone forever and nothing will be all right ever again.

But bear with me for a moment.

I said grief can be a gift. And it can. And I acknowledge that that is only one small part of grief. Most of grief is messy and stomach churning and exhausting and so very very hard. But there is a small aspect of grief that can be a gift and that happens slowly and only when we are in the healing stage, that stage when we are able to see outside of the well of grief that we are in.

It happens very subtly. 

One day you notice that you still love your loved one so very much - maybe even more than ever - and it makes you feel happy - happy that you had a life with them, grateful for their love, grateful for the wonderful memories. They still live in your heart and your memories. That is a gift.

You may find yourself opening up more to the world around you, letting people in, treasuring friends who have stood by you. I have never been one to show my emotions but now I am more open to my feelings and I share those feelings with close friends - and you. That is a gift.

John was an inspiration to me and still is. He was a loving, generous man, able to forgive those who hurt him - and there were some who hurt him a lot. I am trying to emulate those qualities because I am just beginning to be able to do that. That is a gift.

I have learned that life is precious and nothing is promised. I am learning to enjoy what is in front of me instead of pining for what could be or something I wish for in the future. I stop and appreciate a sunrise, a hummingbird floating in front of me, coffee with a friend, a silly antic from my dog or one of my cats. That is a gift.

I have always tended to catastrophize. Having experienced the big thing of grief, I now don't sweat the small things so much. I am more willing to let things go - a perceived slight, feeling frustrated about how a certain situation "should" be, life not going my way. I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to fix every circumstance. The Beatles' song "Let It Be" is my new mantra. That is a gift.

I bet you can find gifts too if you think about it. They don't
have to be huge. That's the beauty of a gift.  In fact just the act of thinking gifts from grief are possible is a gift.