Sometimes tragedy shakes the structure of life so completely that nothing looks the same when the dust settles. When my life-altering, pivot-point tragedy occurred, I never could have imagined all of the ways that I would change as a result of it. Though the very deepest parts of my identity did not change; my value, my worth, and the meaning of my existence... I am certainly not the same person I once was.
I’ve heard it said that every person is either going into a storm, in the middle of one, or on their way out of one. Grief is one of those storms. It crashes into our lives after the loss of beloved people or things, and it doesn’t behave in any clearly understandable way. Just as every person is different, everyone experiences grief uniquely. Because of that, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule book. Here are some things I’ve been learning through my own tumultuous journey with loss and grief.
"I'm leaking" I said to my friend one day, feeling overwhelmed with previously mundane things. I couldn't hold the hard inside anymore. Without my permission, tears pooled beneath my eyes, poured onto my cheeks, and fell to my chest. It hurt tremendously to go ahead and feel the pain, but as the salty tears washed over my face, my soul released some of the pressure.
Suppose, for a minute, that you are about to walk into a room full of grieving people. Imagine that you're going to enter a situation sort of similar to speed-dating, where you'll go through a line and come face-to-face with each grieving individual. These people are in different stages and situations of grief... some people mourn for…