Capture Your Grief · Child Loss · Grief · Uncategorized

Are We Out of the Woods

Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? 

-by Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift

This song gets me. It’s a love song, I get that. It doesn’t technically apply to my grief story. But it does, simply for the crazy reason that it moves my heart to tears. That’s the thing about a good song writer. Their “moment” and my “moment” with the song can be completely different. Emotion connects with emotion, and a connection is made.

But that’s beside the point.

Are we out of the woods?

Truth be told, it’s less about whether we are out of the woods and more about whether we are finally learning to walk in the woods and not be terrified. Learning to see our way through the shadows, through the times when the brush is thick and branches hang over the path.

I drove with my brother and a truck full of cousins up the mountain and through the woods this summer. He knew that hill like the back of his hand. I’m guessing he knew every turn and each spot where the branches got thick enough that the kids needed to duck. It was thick in spots, and then we would hit a slight clearing and light would burst forth. Then in moments, we’d hit the deep dark of dense forest again. We wove in and out of dark and light, thick and clear, rough and smooth.

That’s what the journey is like. We aren’t really ever out of the woods, we just learn how to be alive in the woods. We learn how to walk even when it becomes dark and dense, even when we are surrounded and can’t see the next clearing. The territory becomes familiar, and we anticipate. We don’t panic at a sudden onset of thick and heavy darkness. We’ve been there. We know it like the back of our hand. We know how to do this.

We know what it feels like to bask in the beauty and sunlit wonder of the clearing, and we suddenly discover that because of this we are ok with the woods and all it may hold. We even learn in the midst of the deep woods, to see beyond the hand in front of our face and the ground beneath our feet into the distance where streams of light dance among the trees, making magic before us. We just weren’t able to look that far before. All we could see and feel and hear was the immediate dark encircling us.

Now when the depth of dark surround us, we slowly breath it in and feel the enormity of grief’s pain, yet we lift our eyes and breath deeper still until the light of joy and hope, the distance glimmer ahead reminds us that the clearing is just ahead.

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