My friend Amy Bell was ever so kind to sit down and write about grief. It's so helpful for me to read other's perspectives, it helps me process what happened to us a little more. Thank you, Amy for such a beautifully written piece.
Grief is a lot like fingerprints – unique to each individual. The ways we work through the grieving process differs from person to person, from day to day. Especially when faced with the grief of losing a loved one. This is what makes it so very difficult to define. My way of dealing with it is more than likely quite different than yours. There is no “normal” way to grieve. No right or wrong.
On the flip side of this is the way we respond and react to others who are grieving. This also is unique to each of us. Some folks promptly show up on the doorstep with a casserole, some send condolences, a card, gift, flowers, and some do nothing. Not because they don't care or share the grief, but because they don't know what to do, don't know what to say, or maybe because it makes them so uncomfortable and anxious that it's easier to say or do nothing. Once again, no right or wrong.
These are my experiences with this emotion....and over the past several months, I know Mary and Dave have had a front row seat to it as well.
I remember when Mary told me they were expecting, and how wonderfully happy and excited they were. I shared that excitement, and even made sure the baby had a proper nickname. Over the next few months I took such great joy in seeing Mary blossom with her pregnancy, and her and Dave prepare to start their life as parents.
Then it all changed so fast, as life often does, and suddenly they weren't going to have this dear little one to hold, care for, and watch grow. I can't imagine the feeling, and it saddens me that my dear friend knows this feeling all too well. That's when the experience of grief begins....for Mary, Dave, and anyone who cares deeply for them.
Sometimes it seems like it will never end, and it doesn't necessarily have to end, but it will change and evolve over time....and then believe it or not, grief somehow becomes a gift. It opens our eyes to the delicate nature of life, makes us appreciate everything good and sweet, and reminds us that even though unpleasant things will happen, they don't entirely define our existence. The great and joyous moments of life don't automatically get erased when something tragic happens. They may be more difficult to recognize for a while, but they're still there.
These are the things to hold on to when riding this roller coaster called grief....and this is Baby David's gift to all of us.