I am learning to let the waves come. I let them take hold of my heart and I embrace the pain with a full surrender that makes my eyes blink back tears and my legs tremble from the weight of the burden.
I have fallen to my knees now, a million times. I have lifted my hands open with a nothingness to give…to fill the void, to appease the suffering. Maybe even in a desperate cry to be alleviated of the unbearable pain.
It washes over me with an ache so deep, so vast. There is a restlessness in my soul. One that quickens with the thought of tomorrow. Because sometimes I can only think minute to minute. One breath to the next.
Lifting my hands to give when I have nothing left.
Empty handed and brokenhearted.
It is the agonizing wail of death. The soul cry of a grief stricken heart. The moment of knowing that what is crushing us, just might be too much to bear. The torture of the mourning is relentless, it is pleading, it is haunting. It compels us to unlearn all the rules we have been taught about love in order to move through the basic means of survival.
We become obsessive and frantic. Rejected or seeking. We do too much or too little. And no matter what…it is never enough.
Every word cuts like a knife and I become all too familiar with terms like judgment, unworthiness, fear.
It is all we can do sometimes, to choke back the bitter taste that arises in the back of our throats. Some days my fists are clenched tightly because I know now life isn’t fair. And my fury intensifies at the mere glimpse of the sun peeking out through the clouds. How can light shine when my world is enveloped in darkness?
The faces of grief. The hearts that have been shattered. Those who have stood in the midst of their greatest nightmare and learned to breathe again.
We dare to rise up each day. We bravely face the world, sometimes from our knees.
It will hurt. There will be deep, gut wrenching despair. There will be moments when I waver on my path to healing. Detours that take me in the opposite direction and delays when I just get stuck.
And there will be a million reasons to give up.
But if I have learned one thing in grief it is this…love heals.
Because when the defeating grip of death steals the future you had hoped for, the grace of love covers it all.
Shannon Shpak is a writer, journalist and digital media manager who is rebuilding life after loss with her 5 children. She is an avid reader, a theology buff and a history enthusiast. Shannon believes in hope, perseverance and being strong . . . all legacies her son and daughter left behind.