Seasons of Grief
Shall I wither and fall like an autumn leaf,
From this deep sorrow – from this painful grief?
How can I go on or find a way to be strong?…
Will I ever again enjoy life’s sweet song?
Sometimes a warm memory sheds light in the dark
And eases the pain like the song of a Meadow Lark.
Then it flits away on silent wings and I’m alone;
Hungering for more of the light it had shone.
Shall grief’s bitter cold sadness consume me,
Like a winter storm on the vast angry sea?
How can I fill the void and deep desperate need
To replant my heart with hope’s lovely seed?
Then I look at a photo of your playful smiling face
And for a moment I escape to a serene happy place;
Remembering the laughter and all you would do,
Cherishing the honest, caring, loving spirit of you.
Shall spring’s cheerful flowers bring life anew
And allow me to forget the agony of missing you?
Will spring’s burst of new life bring fresh hope
And teach my grieving soul how to cope?
Sometimes I’ll read a treasured card you had given me
And each word’s special meaning makes me see,
The precious gift of love I was fortunate to receive,
And I realize you’d never want to see me grieve.
Shall summer’s warm brilliant sun bring new light,
And free my anguished mind of its terrible plight?
Will its gentle breezes chase grief’s dark clouds away,
And show me a clear path towards a better day?
When I visit the grave where you lie in eternal peace,
I know that death and heaven brought you release;
I try to envision your joy on that shore across the sea,
And, until I join you, that’ll have to be enough for me.
For all the remaining seasons of my life on earth,
There’ll be days I’ll miss your merriment and mirth,
And sometimes I’ll sadly long for all the yesterdays;
Missing our chats and your gentle understanding ways.
Yet, the lessons of kindness and love you taught me,
And the good things in life you’ve helped me to see;
Linger as lasting gifts that comfort and will sustain,
Until I journey to that peaceful shore and see you again
I have learnt that it is very tempting to want to ‘hate’ grief,
I have learnt that society tends to see it as the enemy as an unwelcome guest. Instead, we should try opening ourselves to grief and ask it what it has to teach us. We need to ask it what it is training us to do and to be. We should ask why this uninvited teacher is in our life and then you will begin to notice how things shift and change.
We need to remember that grief never asked us to let go of love. Grief is neither an illness or a pathological condition however, it is a highly personal and normal response to life-changing events. It is a natural process that can lead to great healing and immense personal growth.
The transition through this difficult time is a courageous journey. The tears we shed have a wisdom all their own. They come when we are relaxed enough to let go and to work through our sorrow. They are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound,
carrying the poison out of our system.
It is here that the road to recovery lies and our transformation begins.
On the 28th of February it will mark 5 years since my beautiful mother passed away. I have been reflecting on the last five years and all I have been through and what I have accomplished including publishing my first book a tribute to my beautiful mother and my journey through her death.
I cannot believe it has been five years already but to me she is not really in gone as she lives in my heart forever now and when I need her she is still there.
I make it a practice to speak with her everyday she is in every breathe I take and every speak I take. I will forever lover her and will continue to fight for and stand up for those who need it and who cannot for themselves.
Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart.
Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
We do not grieve without first loving.
We do not love without first gaining more
than we could ever lose.
I never wanted to write about grief, not here, not as often as I am. But grief doesn’t run to my schedule, it has an agenda of its own and descends at a whim oblivious to my goings on.
Some say it comes in waves, but that would suggest a rhythm one can predict, like tides that run with the moon. I feel no rhythm in my grief from the death of my mother three months ago but I do live in a slow motion pace inside a bubble from which I see my altered world.
Outside, the bubble is a world of noise, inside is silence and muted sounds. When grief hits, the bubble bursts and a cacophony of sadness invaded my head until the bubble grows again with me back in it. I didn’t mind the world inside the bubble, though I feared my constant retreat to it will prevent me from living in real time.
I had thought that when my mother died, it would be like heartbreak. It would be intense and painful and follow me round with every single breath, dragging behind me like a boulder.
But it’s not. I live my life, I have fun, I laugh and all seems fine and then bam. There it is again. It may last a minute, 10 minutes, an hour, a few days and then it’s gone. Just like that. Grief is crazy-making with an element of surprise and the constant knowledge that no matter what you do that person is gone, never to return, never.
Losing a mother is like being on a ship that has lost it’s ballast and is now at the mercy of the deepest ocean and all it holds within. I bob around without a foundation to bring me back to the same balanced spot each time, a spot I just can’t get right. Instead, I spend my time sideways, upside down, right-side up, sinking to the ocean floor and floating back up, taken on the current to places I have never been.