Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Gifts of Grief

When mum died I received a letter from a friend who had lost his dad a year earlier. He talked about the process he went though in his grief. Searching for the reasons why, anger at the unfairness of it all, the deep hole of sadness and many other emotions. He then went on to say that a year later he could see that within his grief there were gifts. And that he believed within every persons grief, once it has passed enough that you can see again, there are gifts that give your grief meaning. At first I thought he was mad! I mean how could any good come from the way I was feeling at the time.

But then time passed, everyday I breathed in and out, and walked forward step by step, and the weight of the grief started to get lighter.

One day about a year later I found that letter again and I found that if I looked at the last year I could start to see the gifts that my grief had given me.

Every year I check in with myself and every year I can see what he was talking about. There were things and experiences in my life that mums death and other losses have given me. I have grown in directions that I would never have grown, and made decisions that I may have made differently.

These days if you ask me do I want mum back, I would say yes, but not at the expense of these lesson, experience, personal development and choices I have made because of who I became after mum died.

A beautiful friend and doula client had a baby that was stillborn last week. There are few, if no, comparisons that can be made between loosing a child and loosing a mother. But I have been wondering, is the gifts of grief are one of the few places these losses intertwine?

I hope so. I hope that as this family climb ever so slowly out of the black hole of grief, and breathe in and out, and put one foot in front of the other, they will start to see the light again. I hope that one day, albeit a long time away, they may see that their suffering and grief and the time they had with their babe, too short as it was, brings with it gifts that one day balance out some of the hole loosing their little boy has left in their hearts.

1 comment:

funkylamb said...

Oh god I hope so too. I had a similar experience with the death of my father - because I was so young, his death absolutely shaped who I am as an adult. So many gifts and so much pain.

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