I’m Not … Pretending Grief Isn’t Around

Grief is the meanest mofo I have ever met. It knows no end, holds no bounds, sees no class or creed and has no fucking mercy. It’s relentless and it will not leave you until it’s damn well ready. This, we all pretty much know to be true of grief but there’s a secret that comes from grief. If we go through it… It. Makes. Us. Better. Even when it hurts so much we can’t breath.

Anytime we grieve there is a shift that begins to happen within us and that shift is what begins to shape us for the better. Change, reprimands, rejections, loss, it all make us stop in our tracks and alter our course, we change our reactions and change who we are. Life is no longer taken for granted, we take notice of the sky, the sweet smell of the air, the fact that our bodies are still here with the ability to move and that despite our broken hearts we cannot imagine a day without love. We cling to love and that which has not changed and use it as our life preserver to carry us onto more solid ground as grief loosens it’s grip on us ever so slightly.

But when we try to ignore or bypass grief, none of this happens. Nothing shifts, nothing makes us better, we just stay frozen in the past with no change, no lesson learned, no gratitude for what still is and no ability to grab onto our life preserver that will carry us through. You must go through grief before it can loosen it’s grip, it has to accomplish what it came to do…knock us down, build us back up and make us better and we have to allow it to do that.

At the end of the day, grief shows us that we put ourselves out there, we loved with all we had and we were fearless. It reminds us that we are living life, not just letting life pass us by. This was a lesson taught to me by a remarkable human being named Ryan, who left us to soon. During his long battle with cancer, he never detered in living his best life. When asked how he was doing, he always had a great big smile on his face before he would say “Just Livin’ the Dream” even if every part of his being was aching, he never stopped believing this to be true.

Ryan was a phenomenal husband, father and teacher who will always be teaching us to not ignore the hard stuff, work through it and let it be what makes you better. May we all learn this lesson and remind ourselves to keep “Livin’ the Dream”.

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