How do we begin creating a place for love and loss when the loss is the most prominent thing we feel? When we experience the loss of a loved one, everything around us looks different. Our worlds are tilted, and we can’t seem to stand like we used to. All our minds can think about is who is not here with us and how different life is without our loved ones. It’s understandable. Our lives will never be the same.
Yet each morning, the sun continues to rise. It’s somewhere between the sun’s rising each day and the moon that comes up each evening that we slowly realize life moves forward.
Looking back, after Melanie died, I clearly remember feeling as if one of my limbs was missing. As mothers, we are the only ones who carry another person under our hearts for nine months. This is how God made us; there is a connection to our children like no other. I couldn’t imagine moving forward without my girl. My mind couldn’t fathom how there would never be another day on this earth when I wouldn’t hear her voice or have her here to celebrate a holiday or birthday.
Yet, as life has it, the days roll on, and we must find a way to bring them along with us. There comes a point along this grief journey where we need to make room for our loss. It’s probably one of the hardest things to do. Yet, we need to begin creating a place for love and loss.
Adjusting to loss is similar to that feeling you get when you’ve been at sea for several days; when you first step out of the boat, you have sea legs and feel off-balance. It may take a long while before we begin to get our sea legs out from under us. We need to give ourselves grace and be patient with the process. If we continue walking, step by step, we eventually start to regain our footing.
When people think of grief, often it’s associated with weakness. However, grievers are formidable. Grief is one of the strongest emotions a person can ever have, and I’m confident that I’ve become stronger because of the loss. Leaning into my faith in God is what has sustained me through the darkest days I’ve ever known. Some of the strongest people I know are those who have loved and lost.
As we enter this holiday season, where loss becomes more pronounced, please remember that turning the page to the next chapter doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten your loved one. You can continue to move forward by honoring your memories of your loved one, and continue creating a place for loss and love without bearing the heaviness and weight of it all.