The Gift of Grief: How to Embrace Peace When You Feel Overwhelmed

Sharing my post today, published by a wonderful online site, Having Time, on finding peace and the gift of grief.

“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us but our beliefs as to what those events mean.” – Tony Robbins

She stretched her growing legs out, shoving back the pile of blankets that were keeping me warm.  Her leg then moved outward and kicked me just as I was falling into a relaxed state after a long and demanding day.

Grrrrr.  “Stop it,” I said sternly.  “Move it….’get out of here, go to your bed.”

I could feel my anger escalating. My tired self had no patience for wild antics of my children as all my body craved was sleep.

Her six-year-old, sixty-pound body was too much to move compelling me to bite the bullet and tough it out. My energy was depleted. She had won…

As a busy mom of four lively and spirited children, I yearned for sleep.  To sleep in my bed, without children, without unruly octopus legs interrupting my peaceful slumber would sure be amazing.

Wishful thinking. Was this too much to ask?

I can’t remember the last time I had a totally restful night’s sleep or five minutes to myself.  Just as my negativity began to creep in, it hit me.

What was I complaining about?  That voice became louder.  Stop it, remember, you have so much to be thankful for.   Your daughter is here next to you. Alive, healthy, sleeping in safety next to you, her mother who she loves with all her heart.

Gulp.

Reality check.

Again.

One would think that after having my oldest daughter die at the hands of a tragic accident and facing a life of torture and persistent heartache, would make me immune to such selfish behavior.  Guess again.

Had I forgotten? Absolutely not.  Most onlookers would think that someone like me wouldn’t need frequent reality checks.

Well, that’s the bold truth of this fleshly world we live in. I’m human just like the rest of us. I get worn-out, grouchy and take things for granted. I fail to see the beauty in mundane daily tasks at times and succumb to guilt, regrets and a serious case of bad attitudes.

 

Conversely, I know how awful it could be. I have experienced the worst and at times still, relive those gut wrenching soul-killing sobs and accompanied sharp pains. However, instead of that initial blanket of hopelessness, these intimate moments are followed by an overwhelming peace that embraces me, bringing comfort and healing.  This is the gift of grief.

I can honestly say that having lived through the trauma of the death of my child, my eyes have been opened to a new world. Initially, it was the world full of sadness and unending pain. It was struggling with heavy doubt and perpetual what ifs.

However, eight years later, it has evolved into a world of deep introspect and life lessons.  Grief is constantly developing and growing my heart of compassion while pruning my spirit and blossoming my faith.   Grief causes you to become authentic to yourself as you walk that fine line between past and present, delicately balancing the dynamic emotions that flood your soul, while reflecting on yesterday and pondering what the future holds.

I have learned that I cannot only survive this, but can thrive.  It humbles me to know that without grief, my life would have been entirely different and I would not be the same person I have become today.  For that I am grateful.

So, for now, I think I can handle a few more kicks and sleepless nights if it means I’m able to hold my precious child, feel her warm breath upon my face, and absorb the true blessings that life gives.

 

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