Child Loss · Crazy Good Grief · Gratitude · Grief · Healing · On My Heart · Strength to Strength

The Goodness of Grief

I’ve begun writing for Crazy Good Grief as part of my partnership with Paula Stephens. This post was originally published on the CGG blog.

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I remember the day I clicked on the link to an article on grief that I saw in my Facebook feed. I was raw in grief, deep in the thick of the first few months of hell-on-earth, still numb with shock and disbelief.  And then I saw the words, right there in the http address “crazygoodgrief.com.” I got MAD. I don’t even remember honestly what I did, maybe I clicked on the link, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I read an article or clicked on the about page and read about this woman, “Paula”, maybe I didn’t.

What I remember, is thinking “GOOD GRIEF?”

What in the world is GOOD about GRIEF.

I slammed the cover of that book, shut the door on that space, and stomped away.

Nothing GOOD about it, Paula Stephens, whoever you are!

And my grief journey continued…

But there came a day, I remember it clearly, when I decided to open the door again.

I decided to get up and walk through the door of healing. I decided that I didn’t want to die in the pit of sorrow. After all, I promised my son the day he died that I wouldn’t quit living.

And guess what? When I was ready, there were healing messengers there waiting for me, encouraging me along. And that “Crazy Good Grief-Lady-Paula-Stephens” was one of them. She didn’t know it at first, until one day I wrote to her.

Paula,

Confession…. I used to not like you. Just kidding, well almost. I was raw at the time and hope seemed impossible. I think you get it.

Now, the little girl part of my soul who has been soaking up all the hope and life I can find because it’s the only way I can live, seems to keep asking, “I wonder if Paula thinks I’m doing a good job.”

So anyway. I wish you weren’t so far away and we could have coffee or I could come to one of your events.

Keep living and throwing life out there, even when it falls on broken hearts that don’t know how to absorb it, yet…. because eventually…. we do.

And that’s how it started. Connection. One heart a few big steps ahead of my own, reached back as I reached forward.  It’s like I wrote a few weeks ago,

Make sure you are always in a place of leading and being led, of teaching and being taught, of healing others and being healed by other. Make sure that you are brave enough to link arms with those beside you on the path and spur one another on.

Don’t keep your head down! Be looking ahead on the path for the Bright Lights who are walking ahead showing you that there is hope and healing. And don’t ever get so focused on your own journey, that you refuse to glance back over your shoulder to see that one who might just be reaching out for you to give them hope.

If you’re two steps ahead, look back and reach out your hand. Someone needs you to lead them to healing. In leading others, your own healing will take two more steps forward. 

-from Two Steps Forward

And so here I am learning to heal and learning to be a healer.

Reaching forward and reaching backward at the same time.

Here is what I’ve learned about grief.

Grief is Good.

It is Good Indeed.

The goodness of grief is found in the depths of love. Because without love there is no grief, and if you are grieving greatly it is because you have loved greatly. The goodness of grief is found in that space that allows the heart to fully feel it all, and with the full participation in the grief journey, to expand and heal and grow, to become bigger and richer and fuller. Yes fuller, even in the emptiness, the heart can fill. Feeling it fully allows grief to do the work of healing and changing and creating beauty out of the ashes.

And yes, Grief is Crazy.

It is Crazy Indeed.

The craziness of grief is found in the unpredictable wildness of it all. It is the nature of this wild  beast, but it can be tamed. We are the ones who grab ahold of the wild- the wind in our face, the crash of the waves, the untamed forest trail, the river’s wild current; and get to choose what kind of adventure we will have. I for one have chosen to live outside of the cave and to step fully into this CRAZY GOOD GRIEF.

And so reaching out, I ask you to join me on this wild, healing ride. My heart yearns to fully step into healing for myself and to take as many with me who are brave enough to say, “Me too!”

And as we seek to fully grieve, I am convinced we will become whole- body, mind and spirit, moving forward into greatness, embracing healing, and rising above because of love.

So allow me to invite you in to this “me too” conversation, can you see the “good” and the “crazy” in your grief? What are so ways you feel you have grown or changed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Goodness of Grief

  1. Your words pull at my heart strings… So glad I discovered your writing on StillStandingMag! I’m 10.5 months out from my loss of our beautiful perfectly born still baby girl Vivian at 34 weeks on10-21-15. Like you I refuse to let the dark pit of grief to consume me. I recognize and know Vivian’s love. It propels me forward. She was and is a gift from God. I am morphing into a better woman, wife, mother and friend because of that love. Oh, I am still clouded by loss and there are days I am swept over with sadness, but the root is… love. So, I am the midst of learning and accepting to love others where they are without expecting anything in return. Definitely not easy, but as we know rare are those willing to walk with you in the grief and the failed expectations we put on others will take us down to the pit. We have been to a place not many have gone and they are simply not equipped to know what to say or do. I choose love and there is mighty power in it.

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