I Tried to Run From My Grief. Here’s Why I’m Now Choosing to Embrace It

grief. painting of a woman's face with a melancholy gaze and flowers behind her ears.

Grief. It’s a pit. One that feels endless at times. A darkness in which you can lose your way. Or even lose yourself. It is a darkness in which I have been lost. Grief is devastating. Profound. Miserable.

Yet it is tremendously healing. I have spent much of my time avoiding and denying my grief. Grieving is something I’ve told myself I can’t do.

But not anymore. Now I am grieving.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power, and they speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.— Washington Irving

The grief I feel is immense. At times it can be dark and unforgiving. However, I have also found that it is a sign of my ability to love. My grief also shows my ability to give. And to let go.

Letting grief in

Pressing into this grief — acknowledging it, rather than avoiding it — has allowed deep healing to begin within me. I am healing.

Healing means growing and moving forward.

Letting grief in means I can move from the darkness towards light. I was unsure if that could ever happen. But it is happening.

With this work, I am learning so many things. Like how to love myself and others. I’m even learning how to feel again. Grieving is teaching me how to withstand my feelings and keep them from drowning me. It’s even teaching me how to use those feelings in ways I never imagined.

Honoring through grief

Losing Sutton and Cali has been the most devastating experience in my life. It is heart-wrenching and incredibly raw. And utterly confusing.

There are times that I can go about my day and not give it a thought. Then there are times it hits me so much harder than I ever thought it could.

Often, I wonder how can I begin to explain how I am feeling to anyone when it doesn’t even make sense inside my own head. But the loss impacted me in such a huge way, that I have to try to express it. I want to — NEED to — in order to honor what they have done for me. Because it is incredible.

Loving and grieving for Sutton and Cali opened my heart in a way I didn’t know it could. It tore it wide open.

Love so deep, love so wide

Grieving Sutton and Cali created such an intense love that I was surprised by my ability to feel so strongly. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much. And I didn’t know I was capable. They found parts of me that I didn’t know existed. It was in those parts that I found a love I no longer believed was real.

They showed me it was possible. And that it is possible. That part of me does exist. The kind of love I felt is real. And with that love has come enormous hope. Hope for my Sutton and Cali. Hope for others. And hope for me.

Feeling their loss, I have begun to open my heart to the idea of feeling more than just grief. The pain of the loss is a reminder of the love. I want to be reminded of that love day in and day out.

I cry because they are gone. But I rejoice because I met them. Rejoice because I loved them.

There is a stillness in my grief. It is a process. Some days it screams about the ones I miss. Other days it’s a silent mending.

Yet I don’t mind the grief anymore — it is a sign of endless love and a richness, undying hope.

I’m learning that grief is part of the beautiful mess that is life.

It is part of aching, mending, and becoming whole again when part of you is gone.

I’m the chosen one

I used to think I chose this path. That I chose these babies. Consequently, I thought I chose to feel this pain because I deserved it.

Now, I know how incredibly wrong I was.

I didn’t choose them. They chose me.

God placed them in my life because that was how He meant it to be. I don’t deserve to feel pain. What I deserve is to feel the vast love that they brought to me.

Sutton and Cali showed me the way to love another person fully. Giving and sacrificing my heart for ones I knew would not be in my life for long enough. And I am so glad I did.

Sutton and Cali are forever a part of me. A good part. Maybe the best part.

After real grief, we are reborn as people with wider and deeper vision and greater compassion for the pain of others.

I think my grief has done that. It has given me the capacity to feel, give, love, and do more than I ever thought was possible. Knowing them has made me a better person.

I am certain they were in my life to guide me towards where I was meant to be. They taught me how to give endlessly, how to love endlessly, and how to hope endlessly. Together, they helped create a whole person.

So, Warriors, you are free to grieve. You are free to love. And you are free to hope. You are free to heal.

(Last Updated: May 20, 2022)

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