Beauty in the ashes!
Have you ever mourned the loss of anything? A loved one? End of a marriage/relationship/friendship? Youth and the aging process? A job? Diagnosis? Paralyzed limbs? Now that’s what we call Grief. You see, the definition of Grief by Webster states “deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death.” But Grief is pretty much the loss of anything that meant something, because “Grief only exists where love lived first” … Franchesca Cox.
The thought of the loss is so unbearable it takes the wind out of us. Sometimes we seek to relive the moments lost, that we develop coping mechanisms such as:
Holding on to the last gifts they gave us
Not washing that piece of clothing that has their smell on it
Reminiscing about the first date for those who lost a relationship
Going for procedures to make us look younger, for some who are mourning the loss of their golden age of youth
Lying in bed hoping to walk/run again after an accident left you paralyzed
Undergoing chemotherapy for a terminal diagnosis grieving over the roads not traveled yet.
Need I say more?
We can’t run away from grief; we live with it. How do you tell a mother who lost a child to move on? How do you say to a patient who has terminal cancer they only have a couple of months to live? How do you comfort an estranged spouse going through a divorce? How do you tell an avid runner, they will never walk again after an accident?
There is no manual on how to explain or maneuver the grieving process, but we must start by ACKNOWLEDGING their loss, so they are not merely existing, they are LIVING!
Grief cannot be quantified no matter what you lost. Don’t be quick to judge the grieving process and how others approach it. In our African culture, we are told to “just deal with it nah” (internalizing) with the expectations to dismiss one’s feelings and stifle one’s emotions, ignoring the impending implosion. We must choose humanity over culture and empathize with others encouraging and providing resources such as seeking help via therapy, support groups, counseling and Spiritual guidance.
Going through grief is like being hit by a freight train repeatedly. But it's only by telling our stories that we can bring to light what has… and is still plaguing us, so others may know that there is hope in expression, giving one a sense of community, and believing that only God can turn our ashes into beauty. For we are… a work in progress!
“It is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness” … Eleanor Roosevelt.