Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gifts of Grief

I think that perhaps there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have gone through grief and those who haven’t. I know, I know, everyone has tough stuff that they go through. Bad break-ups, parent issues, friend issues, work stuff, you name it. But grief is different from other hard stuff. It overshadows everything around it, puts everything in perspective as the small and conquerable thing it is and shows you who the people around you really are.
I feel like I’ve crossed to the other side of this line in the last few weeks. None of the things I worried so much about before seem to matter as much now and the things that do matter seem so much bigger and better than they did before. My children matter, my husband matters. Whatever childhood issues I had with my parents don’t matter now, friends who don’t know what to say don’t matter so much now, stage-fright doesn’t matter now, appearances don’t matter now.
In a way this is liberating. There is a joy in not caring about the trivial and having enough perspective to appreciate that which is real. The real things are more precious than I ever thought possible. My children, my husband, my true friends have become more real and more necessary to my life than they were before. It is liberating to know this because it frees me from the distractions of other things. I’m less distracted by my own selfishness and laziness that prevent me from keeping a nice home. I’m less worried about how others will view my life and my choices and simply parent my children in the way that my instincts dictate. I find myself being the mother I’ve wanted to be, more patient, less quick to anger, more reasonable in my disciplining. Grief has given me that and I am grateful.
I find I have a glorious filter in place now. The good can come in, the unintended bad stays at arms length where I know that it isn’t meant that way and can ignore or dismiss it as necessary. I don’t know if this is a side effect of grief or if it’s just my optimistic personality asserting itself after six weeks of being dormant. I rather think it’s the grief and I’m grateful for it.
I’m grateful for the perspective and the liberation and the reforms to myself, I’m grateful for the filter and the joy that is all the more sweet for having been absent.
“Whatever my lot, thou has’t taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”

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