We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

– Helen Keller

Feelings are a package deal, not an a la carte to pick and choose from. Each feeling allows another its expression. Just as the sun rises so must it set and allow the moon to grace the land.

In the past, when I have stepped from grief, I have been overrun with freedom. Freedom from the weight of loss. Freedom to enjoy the sunshine, to embrace a smile without guilt or effort.

Freedom to laugh without thinking it through, to embody movement because the feeling of quicksand sucking me into the mire of what’s gone has released its hold.

But, without grief, my freedom’s depth and substance would be diminished. My perception of freedom would be fettered in entitlement and ignorance, for I would not know what it meant to lose something dear.

And, yet, do I ever wish to lose anything precious?


I never want to experience grief, but the guarantee is I will and am.

There is still light within the muck of loss, shadowy light that shines into the cracks of memory and remembrance. There is nothing wasted in grief, for all senses are enhanced, and the simplest of things can entice the greatest of feelings.

The season of grief may be dark but doesn’t need to envelope blackness, if I’m willing to accept the package deal and sift through the collage of feelings that hue my heart. This choice is not easy, nor comfortable, but bravery and patience don’t come with shying away from what’s difficult.

The blessing is I won’t leave empty handed when grief sheds its last skin and I am, once again, free to walk the earth. My loss will have stitched its love into the creases and seams of my heart, forever part of me.


Image Source: Flickr

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