Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Grief Journey

Arleah on the Grief Journey

Over the years, the requirements of my grieving have waxed and waned, but there is always some demand to acknowledge several important dates. The honoring no longer has to be long or dramatic; it just has to be addressed. The relationship I have developed with my daughter over the long haul feels peaceful and bittersweet. I keep the grief in my pocket and take it out from time to time, but it no longer rules my life. It has been a gradual process of choices that have built up over time, like a coral reef. Each individual animal—or choice, in my case—is small and insignificant, but the sum total is breathtaking, though invisible on the surface. By now there is little drama left, and less and less to say. All the building and changes are under the surface. A reef and the human spirit are both easy to shatter, but both are also resilient and tend to rebuild in changed forms. Many other losses have occurred along the way, each with its own pain and recovery. Nothing comes close to the upside-down, inside-out world that the death of my child wrought. What is breathtaking is the healing.