Let’s talk Grief and Journeys.
Journeys can be fun, challenging, complicated, easy, exciting, and heart wrenching. Grief? Well, I can’t really say what that can look like. I have never allowed myself to actually grieve-at least not the way most people grieve. Instead, I bury myself in work, take on everyone else’s sorrow to help them along the crazy path of life, and I shut down until I finally explode.
I am not really sure what grief is supposed to look like. I am sure it differs for everyone, but they say there are 5 stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. My stages are Bargaining, Denial, Depression, Anger…..and that is where it stops. I have not learned to accept it. I can’t accept it. I don’t want to accept it. I am too young to be without parents. It is not fair, and I am pissed off at the world and at God. I have questioned my faith more times than not the past 12 years – and even more so the past one and half months.
I remember dad telling me “You need to stop being so negative. You need to look on the bright side.” I said “Dad, there is no bright side in my world.” He very matter- of- factly told me, “There is ALWAYS a bright side Cole. You may not see it, but it is there. YOU just have to open your eyes and heart and find it!” Open my eyes and heart? I never understand what he meant. My eyes are open, and I wear my heart on my sleeve so I would say it was pretty open as well. But then he died, and my world was completely gone.
I lost everything after that. My mind has become numb and I am a shell of emotions. I lost my faith after my mom died. I still believed in God, but I was not religious. When dad died I firmly believed that God didn’t like me, or I was an awful person in a previous life. If God were real and really did love me, then why would I be without both of my parents? Why would I lose everything in the blink of an eye? If God were real, why would he let this happen?
A friend recently shared their journey with these words, “It will be a hard road, but the end game is worth whatever you have to go through. No matter what you are going through, it could always be worse. Even at my lowest point, I knew I was better off than 99% of world. I had food, clothes, shelter, water, and freedoms. Then, to put the cherry on top, I had my religion. It is all about perspective, even though it is hard to see at times.” I have been dwelling on those words, and a light bulb came on! I do have to open my eyes – to the blessings I cannot see. I do have to open my heart for the man upstairs to guide me.
I have been so wrapped up in the “why me” that I have not been able to see a bigger picture. Yes, my world has crashed, crumbled, and burned right in front of my face, but I am still standing. I have weathered this storm before, and I can do it again. Why? Because I have amazing siblings and friends that will not let me fall without helping me back up. So, now I know God doesn’t hate me, but he needed me to see that all this anguish will lead me on a journey to rediscover myself, my faith, and to finally grieve the losses in my life. It will not be an easy or fun journey, I am sure, but it is a journey that will lead me to be the best version of me.
Have you been on a similar journey? What helped you on this strange road?