Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Coming out of Grief
Coming out of grief can bring great joy. When we emerge, blinking and slightly stunned, the world opens up, no longer a black hole of loss and despair but a place of light and hope, of excitement and adventure. There are many paths ahead of us that we can take, many journeys that will become possible. It is simultaneously frightening and exhilarating.
We all have different pathways to the future. Some people buy campervans to live on the road, others for weekends away. Some take on new jobs, some people stop working altogether to take a breath and work out what they need. Some people enter into new relationships, others learn to relate to and love themselves. Some people go to university or college, others join an evening class or learn a new skill online or from a book. Some people may look like nothing is happening on the outside, but on the inside reconfigurations and small revolutions are occurring.
Making a new and exciting future is both a responsibility and a joy, and the road may not be straight and easy at first. Dead ends, blind alleys and wrong turns are all very common and completely normal. What you thought was your way, may not be. It may be too wide, too narrow, or just not feel right somehow. As I emerged from my own personal black hole, I decided I was going to walk round the entire coast of the UK and visit every country in Europe. I may still do some of these things, but not all in one go, and not as a completist might, ticking places off on a list. I will select and choose, find the parts that are right for me. Now it doesn’t feel like a burden I have to complete, but something I can enjoy and be enriched by. I can choose, and I can change my mind. For me, the future is not one big banquet, but many small feasts.
Our Loss Matters
Looking forward to the future and enjoying our lives now doesn’t mean that our loss doesn’t matter and wasn’t important, because it was and it is. But it is manageable now, and it is small enough to carry with us. We may return to the grief stricken low lands from time to time. But the sunlit uplands, mountains and beaches and islands of our future are waiting, and they won’t go. And they won’t disappoint.
Whether your path is green and grassy, or made of ancient stones, or a wooden causeway to a sunny beach, or a path between the trees, enjoy it and be enriched by it. You deserve it, and you have earned it. It is hard won, and it is yours.