Grief, grit, and grace are three different words and meanings, but in some ways complimentary of one another. Not long ago, someone told me I had a lot of grit while grieving Melanie’s death. I was aware that the definition of grief is sorrow, misery, anguish, pain, distress, and agony – all facets of grief I keenly possessed. But grit? It was an interesting term that got me thinking – what does having grit really mean?
After looking up the definition, grit means having courage, resolve, and character strength. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a courageous person, but when child loss becomes woven into the fabric of the tapestry of your life, do you really have a choice to be anything different?
When someone you love dies, it would be easy to fold like a deck of cards and never get up again. Or we can pick ourselves up and begin walking forward, no matter the road’s conditions. This road called the grief journey has more hazardous situations than any construction site I’ve seen and more ups and downs than any rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. But, if we look at this from a different angle, because of what we’ve lived through, we can share the lessons we’ve learned along the way and positively uplift and encourage others who find themselves here.
As a woman of faith, I yearn to continually have the quality of grace, which means to honor, enhance, distinguish, and extend courtesy. Giving grace not just to myself but extending to others. Hindsight is always 20/20, and we often experience many of life’s greatest lessons when we can look at things through a different lens. Giving grace has been one of those lessons Melanie’s death has taught me. It has made me view people and their circumstances differently.
The things I once thought were so important are not so much anymore. The more important things have become people, and I treasure the time and relationships with those God has placed in my life.
A friend of Melanie’s passed away unexpectedly last week. It was shocking and so sad for those close to her. One of her friends commented online that as she sat on her front porch watching the cars and people pass by, everyone else’s life was just moving on. That’s one of the hard things about grief and loss. Unless you are directly affected or have walked this road, life just “goes on.”
During those times, we can extend grace to those without understanding because their life hasn’t been impacted by a loss. As a result of having experienced loss, I have a better understanding of grief, grit, and grace. Let us be thankful to God that he has provided us with these qualities so we can touch others who are hurting.