Grief. My whole life I thought I had a decent understanding of what exactly grief was, but throughout the past year and half, I have come to find out that I was wrong. The official definition of grief is “deep sorrow,” but that is just scratching the surface of it’s true meaning. With the loss of my daughter, and now my dad, two people that each held a literal piece of my heart, I have come to live out the meaning of grief.
Grief can hit you out of nowhere. You can be perfectly content one second, and the next thing you know, it hits. And it hits hard. It may last a minute, or it may last hours. Grief knows no boundaries.
Once grief strikes, it comes at you like a crashing wave in the ocean. Literally. Picture yourself in the ocean. Some waves are small. Some waves are large. Some just pass by you without you even noticing, while others sweep you off your feet, sometimes crashing over your head just before your next breath. Those large, unexpected waves leave you gasping for air once you can get your feet back under you.
All of this applies to grief. A memory, a smell, material items, a song…all of these things are triggers for both large and small waves of grief. Sometimes when grief hits, it very briefly comes and goes. It catches you off guard, but before you know it, it’s gone. Other times, grief hits and it lingers. The tears flow freely down your face, literally drowning you in your very own sorrows. This type of grief leaves you gasping for air. You feel as if you will never be able to find the strength to take that next breath, and then you do.
Grief is weird. Often times, grief is unwelcome in my life. It’s scary and it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. However, sometimes I welcome it with open arms. It’s as if it is a connection to the ones I love, to the ones whom I have temporarily lost. It hurts so bad, but I grieve because my love for them runs deep. I grieve because I long to see, hear, feel, touch, hug and kiss them. I grieve because this new chapter of life without them is something I don’t want to enter into, but I have no choice.
Grief…something that once was not part of my life, will now forever be engrained in me until the glorious day that we all will be reunited before the presence of God.