So, this weeks grief group topic inspired me to write-finally! The topic is CHANGE.
It is a word that puts fear in some and brings out the best in others. Books have been written about it, like the book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. Songs have been sung, like Changes by David Bowie or today’s Night Changes by One Direction. It is a subject that a grieving person or child does not particularly appreciate or like. It means that life will be different, definitely not the same as it used to be now that their loved one has died. In life though, we all know, that change as well as loss is inevitable. Most of don’t care to think about it or even do consider it unless something happens to change that.
Recently, in the same week, I encountered two changes not as serious as a loss, but certainly stressful. My oldest daughter moved out on her own and my mom had a serious medical issue. Both changes caused me anxiety and certain amount of sadness. Both also created an instant increase in love and joy. As I look at the negatives of both experiences, I undoubtedly felt an overwhelming amount of anxiety knowing that my first born would no longer be living where I could relax in knowing she was in our home, safe and secure. And, sadness that she was all grown up and living on her own-not needing her Mom for everything any longer. My Mom’s stroke brought about both and anxiety and sadness in knowing that we easily could have lost her to that episode. However, the positives of both experiences were also profound. Each happening strengthened my knowing and reminded me again of the ever-flowing stream of life. My daughter has begun a new life for herself as all young people need to do and I find so much joy in that. My Mom is looking at her life in a new light. Are their areas of her life she would like to change? Will she see the importance of her existence to our family? I hope so! We love her beyond words.
After Luke’s death, so much was different. Life was surely not the same. Would I concentrate on the negatives of the change? At first, yes. Our family was smaller, our table which enjoyed the company of five now had to endure meals with one of us missing. Going away as a family would never be as pleasurable as it once had been.. We looked at life with a shadow of darkness, not with the mostly sun-filled days we had once celebrated. As the months and years have gone on, I have begun to encounter those sun-filled days again. As much as it is still difficult to allow those days to warm my soul, I know they are a gift from Luke and I need to enjoy them.
Change is not easy but, when you remember the life of our sweet butterfly, it is vital! I will tell the students of my group that. Someone once told me, if a person going through the changes of loss would only realize, that living life after a loss is like standing at the bottom of a small mountain. It will look daunting and difficult, it may even seem impossible, but with each new experience, with each step forward, they will come to understand how and why they need make the journey to the top. Who knows what wonderful, amazing sights they will behold on that mountain. Who knows what life’s changes will bring, but that they should allow the winds of change to blow in and take them farther and farther on down their paths.