I believe I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for life. A wisdom that comes from knowing another world that is so foreign to some. A strength and endurance I can only attribute to my supportive husband, family and friends. The ability to admit that, I cannot do this life on my own. Just before my eighteenth birthday I lost my dad to cancer. The world that I knew was gone forever. I had my life mapped out and this was not part of my plan. The grief that came with my dad’s passing was at times unbearable. An unimaginable pain and longing for someone, I could no longer see. I suddenly missed and treasured all the little things, like hearing him say my name, his hugs and his ability to make anyone laugh.
Grief can make you feel completely empty. You have so many emotions going through your mind at one time but your still so empty. It makes you look at life in a completely different light. For me, I can now see the beauty in simplicity. Like the feeling of rain touching your skin or the way the wind feels as it brushes past your face. I now have gratitude for the little things, like the way a smile can make you feel or how hearing someone laugh can fill up your whole heart. When I looked back now, my grief has been a wisdom.
Even though it has been one of the most excruciating and crippling experiences I will ever have, it has been a time of growth. I have watched myself fall to pieces, watched grief take a hold of me and felt salty water fall down from my eyes far too often. Grief made me raw. More raw than I could have ever imagined, but now that I am making my way to the other side of this soul wrenching grief, I have gained wisdom from it. I have empathy unlike before. In some ways there is a silver lining to grief. Someday you will mend, just enough. Through the sadness, tears and deafening silence of their absence, this grief is shaping you into a person that you weren’t before. Embrace it and learn from its wisdom.
Time is precious and the problem is we think we have time. Smile at a stranger, compliment a friend and seek comfort in the little things in life.
As my dad said, live well, laugh often and love much.